Bulgaria and Serbia Agree Expansion of the Economic Cooperation

Bulgaria and Serbia Agree Expansion of the Economic Cooperation

“Bulgaria and Serbia have always been fraternal nations but we have not paid sufficient attention to the economic cooperation in the last few years, we have quite a lot of work to do and I hope that we shall make progress for these two days.” This was declared by the Minister of Economy, Bozhidar Lukarski, who together with the Minister of Mining and Energy, Aleksandar Antic, opened the Second Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation between Bulgaria and Serbia, which is held in Belgrade. Minister Antic is the Cо-Chairman of the Joint Commission on the part of Serbia, and it is cо-chaired by Minister Lukarski on the part of Bulgaria.

“Our friendly, political and neighboring relations are very good. Time has come for us to provide them with additional energy and orientate them into the direction of the economic cooperation. We should commence new infrastructural projects and we must finally complete the existing ones”. Minister Antic stated this defining the session of the Commission as an opportunity for Bulgaria and Serbia to develop their bilateral interrelations and to agree the further economic cooperation between the two countries.

In the opinion of Minister Antic there are a lot of subject-matters of mutual interest and he indicated big joint infrastructural projects from the sphere of energy and transport which should connect the two states. „We have a big package of subject-matters which we shall talk about and which shall develop our cooperation”, Minister Antic said. He underlined that Bulgaria is one of the big foreign trade partners of Serbia with exchange of goods in the amount of about EUR 600 million. As stated by Mr. Antic it has a potential for development in the future as well. According to his words there are also possibilities in the sphere of tourism where Bulgaria and Serbia should develop common activities.

Minister Lukarski indicated that further to these spheres, the efforts of Bulgaria shall be directed at the attraction of investments in sectors of priority for our country as electronics and electrical engineering, information technologies, outsourcing, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, machine building, transport and logistics, food industry, agriculture and health care. He added that the priorities of the Ministry of Economy are directed at the creation of prerequisites for the acceleration of the economic growth and he stated his confidence that their implementation shall provide possibility for an active and successful partnership between Bulgaria and Serbia.

Serbia takes the 16th place in the export of Bulgaria for year 2014 and with regard to import it occupies the 19th place. The exchange of goods between Bulgaria and Serbia for the time period January – December 2014 grew up by 4.41% with regard to the same time period of 2013. The export dropped by 2.68%, whilst the import marked growth of 12.65%. The trade balance adds up to EUR 62.5 million as compared to EUR 110.7 million for the same time period of year 2013.

Growth in the exchange of goods of 2.6 % was observed for the month of January 2015 as compared to January 2014. The export was increased by 37.67%, whilst the import was dropped by 28.16%. The trade balance added up to EUR 12.0 million with regard to EUR 3.0 million for the same time period of year 2014.