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Moldovan-Bulgarian economic forum inaugurated in Sofia

19 april 2012, 17:03 print out copy link The link has been copied to the Clipboard

Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat today participated in the inauguration of a Moldovan-Bulgarian economic forum in Sofia, the government's communication and press relations department has said.

The event brought together 20 Moldovan and 40 Bulgarian business people. Prime Minister Vlad Filat opened the forum together with Bulgarian Agriculture and Food Minister Miroslav Naidenov.

Miroslav Naidenov welcomed the Moldovan delegation, noting that Bulgaria is interested in stepping up economic ties with Moldova. The minister presented Bulgaria's economic situation, mentioning that there are several fields in which joint projects with Moldovan business people can be launched. In particular, he referred to tourism, noting that annually, over 6 million people visit Bulgaria, with Moldova ranking the 22nd.

"For sure, there is a great potential in this field and we hope that the number of Moldovans visiting Bulgaria will increase year by year. Moreover, starting from 2012, holders of Schengen visas can freely travel to our country," he said.

Miroslav Naidenov also said that Bulgaria is willing to assist Moldova on its EU integration path. He announced that Bulgaria will provide consultancy and technical assistance for the creation of an agency for food safety in Moldova. In May 2012, a group of Moldovan experts will visit Bulgaria to exchange experience.

For his part, Filat said in his greeting speech that Moldova has good relations with Bulgaria and that he wants that these ties extend to the economic field as well.

"We share the same European past and we want to have a common European future. We have many things in common and I hope that in the nearest future, we will increase the number of Bulgarian investors willing to launch businesses in Moldova," the prime minister said.

The prime minister voiced hope that this economic forum will serve as an impetus for the consolidation of the bilateral trade between Moldova and Bulgaria. Filat stressed that the authorities are ready to secure all the needed conditions for a good development of the trade and economic ties between the two states, noting that this forum is as a good opportunity to prompt the business environment to step up its efforts in order to turn to account these possibilities.

Filat also spoke about the negotiations on an association agreement between Moldova and the EU, Moldova's accession to the Common European Air Space, as well as about the talks on a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement.

"Statistics show the lively interest of the Moldovan business environment in the EU market, as well as the interest of the European partners in Moldova. This headway is largely due to the EU's decision to grant Moldova the Autonomous Trade Preferences, which have recently been extended until 2015. At present, most Moldovan goods are imported to the EU without any quantitative restrictions. Moreover, these products are exempted from customs duties," the prime minister said.

Filat also said that the preferential regime with the EU, as well as the existence of some free trade arrangements within the CIS and Western Balkan countries offer Moldova a unique position in the Central and Eastern European area, as well as numerous prospects for enterprises and for investors, in particular.

Filat noted that Moldova pays special attention to the development of relations with Bulgaria, which are viewed as very important for its democratic and economic consolidation. At the same time, he voiced hope that several contracts between Moldovan and Bulgarian companies will be concluded on the sidelines of the forum.

The prime minister said that the Moldovan government will further pay great attention to investments, urging the Bulgarian business people to invest in Moldova.

The prime minister thanked the organizers for this event, noting that a forum of business people will be organized in Chisinau in October 2012, on the sidelines of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov's visit to Moldova.

In 2011, the overall trade turnover between Moldova and Bulgaria stood at 100.4 million dollars, hiking by 48 per cent against 2010. The exports stood at 33.8 million dollars, by 80 per cent more than in 2010. At the same time, the imports from Bulgaria saw a 36-per-cent increase, reaching 66.7 million dollars.

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