The Minister of Economy and Industry discussed with his Japanese counterpart cooperation in the fields of innovation, digitalization and the IT sector
New key priorities to be developed between Bulgaria and Japan in the coming years were discussed during a meeting in Tokyo between Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov and his Japanese counterpart Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi. ‘These 50 years of cooperation between LB Bulgaricum and Meiji have proven that the relations between our countries are at a very high level — we are setting even bigger goals and are already looking ahead to the next 50 years, during which the key sectors for joint activities should be innovation, digitalization and information and communication technologies,’ Bogdanov said at the meeting at the Japanese ministry.
He stressed to his Japanese counterpart that Bulgaria is becoming a hub for innovation in Europe, where we already have world-class projects related to development centres, robots, super computers and satellite constellations. ‘We are looking for opportunities for cooperation with Japanese companies in these areas,’ Bogdanov said.
The two ministers also discussed national and regional projects related to infrastructure, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources in which Japanese companies are interested. ‘Bulgaria has an important role to play in the development of key projects for the region,’ Bogdanov pointed out. He extended an invitation to Minister Yasutoshi and the Japanese Business Federation Keidanren to visit Bulgaria and to get acquainted on the spot with the investment opportunities.
During his visit to the country of the rising sun, Minister Bogdanov also visited the Japanese Institute RIKEN, which in September signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Bulgarian Institute of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology (INSAIT). Opportunities for cooperation and exchange between Bulgarian and Japanese scientists as well as students from both countries were outlined with the management of the Japanese Institute.
Within the framework of his working visit to Japan, the Minister of Economy and Industry also held a meeting with the Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) — Nobumitsu Hayashi. They discussed the opportunities for investment in infrastructure projects in Bulgaria. ‘Our country is the link between the countries of the European Union and Asia,’ Bogdanov pointed out. For his part, Nobumitsu Hayashi said that he appreciates the opportunities for investment in our country, which will contribute to achieving connectivity in the region. In his words, Japanese business can play a leading role in the development of important projects both at regional and national level. Common partnerships in the development of industrial zones in Bulgaria were also discussed during the meeting.
In the first nine months of 2023, total trade with Japan was worth USD234.2 million. During this period Bulgarian exports increased by 18.4% and amounted to USD 71.8 million.