Sofia-Based Centre to Boost Agricultural Cooperation of China, Central, Eastern Europe
The Bulgarian government established a centre for encouraging cooperation in the area of agriculture between China and the countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
The centre is under the authority of the Agriculture Ministry and is established on the basis of the memorandum of understanding, which was signed between the Bulgarian and Chinese agriculture ministries in October 2014.
The aim of the new structure is to coordinate and plan initiatives in the area of agriculture, such as the establishment of joint entreprises and encouraging the trade in agricultural products, foods and drinks.
China and the sixteen CEE countries will share experience and will seek partners for cooperation and contacts, the government's press service informs.
The establishment of a database is foreseen, which will be available for use by all interested countries.
Annual meetings on key topics will be held, with the aim to facilitate business contacts, exchange of information and other issues of joint interest.
The main aim of the centre is the identification and selection of key areas of cooperation, the signing of memorandums and agreements, the realisation of concrete projects, stimulating the efficient cooperation between the seventeen countries.
The activity of the centre, which has three officials including a director, will be financed from the budget of the Agriculture Ministry, international programmes and projects, donations, aids.
A consultative council comprising seventeen members, who have been proposed by the agriculture ministers of the participating countries, was established parallel to the centre, which will discuss and adopt its annual action plans.
Relevant state and non-governmental structures, social and business organisations and companies from all interested countries will be invited for participation in the so-called 16+1 initiative.
It is expected that the functioning of the centre will result in the stimulation of trade in agricultural goods between the CEE countries and China, which is one of the largest markets of agricultural production on a global scale.
The centre will also aim in increasing the opportunities for attracting foreign investments to the sector.
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