“We must look for innovative approaches to develop trade and economic relations between Russia and Bulgaria.” That was invoked by Yuriy Isakov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Bulgaria, during a meeting with Minister of Economy Bojidar Loukarsky held today. The diplomat noted that there is a certain downturn of about 10% in the trade between the two countries, as the early indications for the first ten months of 2014 suggested a slow-turn amounting to USD 4.2 billion. The imbalance in the trade remains, as the share of Bulgarian export to Russia in our foreign trade accounted for around USD 500 million. Our aim is to reduce this imbalance, and one of the ways is to reinforce trade relations with Russian regions, Ambassador Isakov said. He gave the example of a newly opened shop for Bulgarian cosmetic goods in St. Petersburg, which enjoys a huge success.
Concerning the investment cooperation, Ambassador Isakov said that Russian refinery Lukoil Neftochim Burgas is one of the largest taxpayers in the country. He also noted that there is an interest expressed by Russian companies in the construction of hydraulic structures, such as the Russian company Zarubezhvodstroy has signed a contract for the project in Madan and Rudozem.
According to Ambassador Isakov, the small and medium business, processing and producing industry are another field where there is considerable scope for cooperation,
Minister Loukarsky also regret over the decline in our trade and was absolutely clear that better results could be achieved regardless of the suspension of major energy projects between Bulgaria and Russia. He also believes that the two countries should seek new forms of cooperation and the traditionally well-developed relation in sectors such as wine, food processing, pharmacy, tourism and real estate should be kept.
They agreed that a Bulgarian co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Commission for Economic and Scientific – Technical Cooperation is needed to be assigned as soon as possible (Alexander Novak, the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, holds the post for the Russian side), whose next meeting should be held in Sofia in the first half of 2015.