The Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov and the Ambassador of Slovenia to Bulgaria H. E. Natasha Bergel discussed opportunities for intensifying cooperation in the automotive sector, information and communication technologies, energy, innovation, tourism and education. The two emphasized the increase in trade between the two countries, which reports an increase of over 100% for 2022.
During the meeting, Minister Bogdanov briefed Ambassador Bergel on the comprehensive new strategy for the development of the country’s industrial zones and parks, which is currently under development. He pointed out that the development of the zones would be linked to specific sectors, with infrastructure in place and with the necessary resources made available to investors. The Minister of Economy gave the example of the new industrial zone Dobroslavtsi, which is focused on the automotive industry. In his words, the state should focus on the different regions of Bulgaria and their economic and infrastructural specificities. ‘Investing in Northern Bulgaria will be a priority,’ Bogdanov said.
The investment potential between the two countries was also discussed. There is interest from Slovenian companies to do business in Bulgaria, it became clear at the meeting. H.E. Natasha Bergel said that there are companies that want to expand their production here, as well as new companies interested in partnerships in our country.
The Minister and the Slovenian Ambassador to Bulgaria also discussed the favourable prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the automotive industry. Bogdanov pointed out that this is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. According to him, over the last ten years the number of companies and employees in the industry has grown significantly, with more than 70,000 people currently working in the auto industry. ‘Many companies in the country are already shifting their manufacturing focus to components for electric cars and autonomous driving,’ he said.
They also highlighted the opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector. The diversification of energy sources, the promotion of interconnectivity and the exchange of experience in the field of nuclear energy were among the topics of discussion. In the Minister’s words, Bulgaria could become a hub for the production of energy storage systems and green hydrogen.
The Minister introduced H.E. Natasha Bergel to one of the main priorities of the government, namely the accession of our country to Schengen, and the ambassador stated Slovenia’s full support.
Bogdanov expressed his solidarity and sympathy with the victims of the severe floods in Slovenia. He emphasized the Bulgarian government’s readiness to provide support according to the needs of the areas affected by the heavy rains.
In 2022, trade between the two countries will amount to EUR 1.05 billion, with an increase of over 100%, of which Bulgarian exports will reach nearly EUR 690 million and imports nearly EUR 367 million. Trade in goods for the first quarter of 2023 alone amounted to EUR 196.6 million, an increase of 7.3% over the same period of the previous year.