Orietta Caponi: Deepening Venezuela-Bulgaria Trade, Economic Links Is My Fundamental Task
Novinite.com is interviewing Sofia-based ambassadors of EU member states as well as Bulgaria's main trading partners and neighbouring countries.
Here we provide an interview with Venezuela’s Ambassador to Bulgaria, Her Excellency Orietta Caponi.
1. What major projects are Bulgaria and Venezuela developing in trade, tourism, industry, culture and sports?
The efforts put into practice by both governments in approach policies, during 40 years of relations, have had as a result the signing of a total of 37 documents. These relations have been deepened after the signing, in 2002, of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Creation of the Venezuelan-Bulgarian Intergovernmental Joint Commission as well as several instruments in different areas of cooperation.
Bulgaria, in its economic plans to expand its markets assigns a preponderant role to Latin America. For this reason it is possible and important to reactivate agreements in a negotiation process and to relaunch the relations that were dynamic until 2011.
Bulgaria has offered an important support in the preparation of Venezuelan athletes in different sports; this is an area that must be taken advantage of and be framed in a wider agreement of cooperation.
Venezuela has participated in several cultural events here in Bulgaria, like the International Contest of Young Opera Singers, the International Ballet Festival of Sofia and the Annual Latin American Festival of Cinema.
2. What are, in your opinion, the biggest challenges in the relations between Bulgaria and Venezuela at the moment?
The biggest challenge at this moment is the preparation and implementation of the V Joint Commission, which has been postponed twice, in 2010 and 2011, to relaunch the commercial, economic, industrial, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation.
3. In which areas do you see untapped opportunities for development and the greatest potential for cooperation between the two countries?
There are several businessmen interested in acquiring Venezuelan products like tobacco and its by-products, rum, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, tropical fruits, among others. In addition Bulgarian power companies are interested in liquefied gas, heavy petroleum and coal.
Also, people interested in presenting Venezuelan groups performing music and typical dances in night clubs, folklore-style restaurants and festivals have approached the embassy.
On the other hand, in Bulgaria there are pharmaceutical laboratories producing generic medicines of very good quality, which are of great interest for Venezuela as well as the possibility of creating a joint venture company in Venezuela for the manufacture of creams and cosmetic products.
4. Where does Bulgaria stand among other EU member states in relation to economic and trade links with Venezuela?
At this moment Bulgaria is perhaps one of the EU countries that has less commercial relations with Venezuela than others but indeed, my fundamental task is to reactivate and deepen the bilateral relations in the commercial and economic areas.
5. How are Bulgaria and Bulgarians perceived by your compatriots?
The Venezuelans, who live here and those who have come to this country for business or pleasure, consider the Bulgarians a friendly, hospitable people with characteristics very similar to ours for the warm treatment and the importance they give to family relations and friendship.
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