Bulgarian Minister Urges Cross-Border Cooperation to Boost Development of Danube Region
Bulgaria’s Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski has suggested that the development of the Danube Region should be enhanced through cross-border cooperation.
Speaking at a meeting of the Danubian countries in Sofia on Monday, he claimed that the government gave priority treatment to the efforts to encourage economic activity to overcome regional disproportions.
He pointed out that the Bulgarian municipalities along the Danube River were some of the most economically underdeveloped in the EU.
“At the same time the region’s natural and cultural assets, as well as the strategic geographic location, create an opportunity to develop tourism and a number of other business initiatives,” Lukarski declared, as cited by econ.bg.
He was adamant that cooperation had to be aimed at the development of the different parts of the Danube Region and the positioning of the area as an integrated tourist product.
To illustrate his point, he drew attention to the Roman Emperors Route tourism project including Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, and Croatia.
Lukarski proposed joint and mutual promotions of tourist destinations on third markets as a measure for the development of tourism in the Danube Region.
He explained that there were a number of instruments that the Economy Ministry could use to stimulate these processes, for instance the industrial zones in Vidin and Ruse, which were meant to create infrastructure favorable to investment processes in northern Bulgaria.
Lukarski also reminded that operational program Innovations and Competitiveness 2014-2020 was another option for boosting the development of the region, adding that Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry had managed to convince the European Commission to award additional points to projects in Bulgaria's Northwestern (Severozapaden) Region, the most underdeveloped region in the EU.
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