Spanish Companies Interested in Investments and Joint Projects in the Automotive and ICT Sectors

Spanish Companies Interested in Investments and Joint Projects in the Automotive and ICT Sectors

Over a period of 10 years, Bulgaria’s exports to Spain have increased by 73% and the last few years have marked record highs in the history of economic cooperation between the two countries. This became clear during a Bulgarian-Spanish business forum, which is taking place today in Madrid. The event was opened by the Minister of Economy and Industry, Nikola Stojanov, and was organized jointly with the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE).

In the 2017—2019 period, trade with Spain exceeded EUR 2 billion per year, with these figures recovering rapidly after the COVID pandemic. Aggregate data for 2022 is still awaited, but it is expected to exceed all previous years with an increase in trade of over 50%. ‘The data shows the serious potential we have in many areas. Spain is a gateway to Latin America and Bulgaria can be a logistics hub for the Balkan region as well as for the Middle East,’ Minister Stojanov emphasized. He focused on some of the sectors that have been developing rapidly in our country in recent years — information and communication technologies, electronics, chemical industry, agriculture, etc. ‘We also see serious potential for partnership in the automotive sector, which is also well developed in Spain,’ the economy minister added. Currently, 9 out of 10 cars in Europe have parts made in Bulgaria, and the sector has been developing at a tremendous speed over the past 20 years, he said.

Special attention was paid to the industrial zones of Bulgaria. ‘Our country has low levels of unemployment, but it is unevenly distributed between regions. That is why we will initiate the creation of new industrial zones in areas with higher unemployment, which will encourage the entry of new investments and companies will not face major difficulties with staff,’ Minister Stojanov explained. He stressed, however, that Bulgaria is interested in attracting investments that will add value to its economy. ‘We have passed the stage where quantity was important. Quality is the most important thing for us today. That is why we are looking for companies that will give added value and high income to their employees,’ said Nikola Stojanov.

Spanish Companies Interested in Investments and Joint Projects in the Automotive and ICT Sectors

‘The relationship between our two countries is at a very special moment,’ stressed Xiana Mendes, Secretary of State at Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. She pointed out that the bilateral trade recorded record highs and expressed confidence that more such events would achieve even better results. In her words, Bulgaria has a strategic importance for Spain, which has become even stronger since the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine. ‘With all the reforms, Bulgaria is becoming more and more interesting for foreign investments,’ Mendes added.

Spanish companies have created more than 3 000 jobs in Bulgaria, emphasized in his speech the Ambassador of Spain in Bulgaria H.E. Alejandro Polanco. More than 25 thousand Bulgarian students study Spanish and over 200 thousand of our compatriots live in Spain, it became clear during the forum. These are serious prerequisites for promoting economic ties between our two countries, the Spanish diplomat stressed.

The participants in the forum agreed that our country is becoming more and more attractive for foreign investments and joint projects, as its geopolitical position could turn it into a key logistical location for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the end of hostilities.

The forum was attended by the Secretary of State for Trade at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Xiana Mendes, Ambassador of Spain to Bulgaria H.E. Alejandro Polanco, the Director General of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Inmaculada Riera, the Secretary General of the CEOE, José Alberto González Ruiz, as well as representatives of Spanish companies from different sectors of the economy.