PM: Bulgaria Could Play Important Role in Improving Europe-China Connectivity

Politics » DIPLOMACY | November 26, 2015, Thursday // 10:57
Bulgaria: PM: Bulgaria Could Play Important Role in Improving Europe-China Connectivity Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (L) and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang (R). Photo: Council of Ministers

At a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that Bulgaria could have an important role in improving the connectivity between Europe and China.

Borisov identified China as Bulgaria's primary partner in Asia and noted the broad range of opportunities to expand and deepen the cooperation between the two countries.

The prime minister highlighted that China is among the largest export partners of Bulgaria not only in Asia, but also in the world, the government press service informs.

Among the Bulgarian priorities are: increasing Chinese investments in Bulgaria; expanding the volume and diversity of Bulgarian products on the Chinese market; stimulating the tourist exchange.

Borisov added that Bulgaria relies on Chinese authorities to assist in the acceleration of the procedures on the import of Bulgarian agricultural and food products in China.

According to him, the two countries could seek mutually beneficial models for the successful realisation of priority infrastructure projects.

He also turned to Chinese firms interested in EU markets, which could establish representations, logistical bases, production capacities and centers in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian prime minister noted the Bulgarian-Chinese investment forum held in Shanghai and expressed hope that the event will stimulate new business partnerships of mutual interest.

Borisov highly appreciated the fourth leaders' meeting between Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and China, which was held in the Chinese city of Suzhou.

He congratulated China for the attitude and long-term vision expressed towards the CEE and Balkan countries.

According to him, the so-called 16+1 initiative could help in addressing some of the inequalities and the lag experienced by the Balkan countries.

Borisov also focused on the strategic partnership between the EU and China.

He welcomed the decision of China to become the first non-EU country to contribute to the Investment Plan for Europe and was interested in discussing possible joint projects under the plan.

The Bulgarian prime minister expressed support for the “One Belt, One Road” initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping on restoring the Silk Road.

According to him, it will be beneficial to seek synergy between the 16+1 initiative and the new EU-China Connectivity Platform.

He noted the interest of Bulgaria towards deepening the bilateral cooperation in the areas of culture, education, science and technologies.

Borisov pointed that in view of the forthcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2018, the country is preparing numerous cultural events in the member states of the EU and in some capitals across the world, with Beijing definitely to be included among them.

At the end, he highlighted the importance of dialogue between leaders in determining the direction of development of bilateral relations.

Borisov expressed gratitude for the invitation to visit China and extended and invitation to his counterpart to visit Bulgaria in a convenient time for him.

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Tags: Bulgaria, China, EU, Boyko Borisov, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, investment, business, CEE, Suzhou, culture, education, science, import, export
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