Opportunities for boosting trade and economic relations between Bulgaria and Japan were discussed at the Bulgarian-Japanese Economic Forum held in the Ministry of Economy today. Deputy Ministers Lyuben Petrov and Daniela Vezieva, Evegeni Ivanov, Executive Director of Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), Atanas Nenov, CEO of National Company Industrial Zones PLC, Anelia Baklova, Marketing Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency (BIA) took part in a discussion with representatives of the Japanese business.
The forum aimed at presenting the opportunities which Bulgaria offers in the field of trade and investment as well as our industrial zones. “Japan is a traditional Bulgarian partner in the Asian region. The 55th anniversary of recovery of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Japan was marked last year. There are long-standing economic relations between our countries which is proved through the cooperation between the Bulgarian company “LB Bulgaricum” PLC and Japanese “Meiji” dating from 1972,” Deputy Minister Petrov said. In his words, a number of Bulgarian food products such as Bulgarian wine, honey, herbal and health products are able to expand their presents in the Japanese market. “There is possibility to wide Japanese market penetration of the Bulgarian rose oil and rose products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as high-tech products produced by Bulgarian companies,” Deputy Minister added.
At the event, Deputy Minister Vezieva stressed that favorable fiscal regime, good presence of qualified workforce and operational costs amongst the lowest in Europe, rank our country among the best destinations for business and investment. She also expressed that the Ministry of Economy is ready to support all companies willing to invest in Bulgaria and wished them to find a favorable environment for business and tourism in our country.
Trade between Bulgaria and Japan over the past five years remained at a level of over USD 100 M. In 2013, it exceeded over USD 125 M, marking an increase of 11.8% compared to 2012. The upward trend in bilateral trade continues in January-October 2014, reaching USD 128 M, which is an increase of 22.2% compared to the same period of 2013.
The largest share of Bulgarian export to Japan are investment goods, which is of USD 14 M for the first ten months of 2014 or 10% increase compared to the same period of 2013. The second position of the Bulgarian export schedule is listed by consumer goods, of which the food products represent the largest share of USD 5 M for the period January-October 2014.
A number of Japanese investments has been implemented in Bulgaria so far, namely in the fields of electrical equipment for cars, human healthcare, renewable energy sources, maintenance activities.