The Decrease of Exports to Russia are due to the Poor Russian Economy, not because of Sanctions
The decline in Bulgaria's exports to Russia in the last four years is due to the problems of the Russian economy and not becuase the EU sanctions against Russia. This is stated in a report of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) on Bulgarian exports to the Russian Federation.
According to BIA, the EU's sanctions against Russia do not seem to affect Bulgarian exports. If there are goods affected, their share is so small that they can not be captured by the statistics.
In the best years for Bulgarian exports to Russia, exports of goods subject to current EU sanctions were 11-12 million euro. For the year 2016 this export amounted to 5.2 million euro.
In summary, for the time of the sanctions, the direct Bulgarian losses from exports of goods to Russia do not exceed 20 mil. euro.
According to BIA, Bulgarian suppliers do not realize the potential of the Russian market for several major reasons:
1. Market access conditions and working with local partners differ significantly from those in the EU. Market-based instruments, where they exist, are subject to unknown cause-and-effect relationships, and new Bulgarian exporters can hardly break through;
2. The successful Bulgarian companies are jealously guarding the conquered market and using specific mechanisms to prevent emergence of new competitors;
3. A large part of our entrepreneurs do not take into account the major changes that have occurred in the functioning of the market over the past 10-12 years;
4. Mutual recognition of compliance assessments lags behind modern practices;
5. There is a lack of reliable information on Russian requirements and accredited laboratories;
6. Changing (and different customs) procedures, incl. minimum import prices;
7. Security of supply;
8. Incoming tourism suffers from our incoherent visa policy;
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