In Tokyo, Minister of Economy and Industry participated in the official celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first sale of Bulgarian yoghurt in Japan
It is important for us that our partnership not only continues to promote Bulgarian yoghurt in the markets of Japan and the Asian region, but also that we are able to further develop the joint research between LB Bulgaricum and Meiji. The partnership between the two companies is significant for the development of the Bulgarian-Japanese cooperation. This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov in Tokyo, where the 50th anniversary of the launch of Bulgarian yogurt on the Japanese market was officially celebrated at the headquarters of the Japanese corporation.
The cooperation between the Bulgarian state and Meiji started in 1973, when the first sales of Bulgarian yoghurt, produced with Bulgarian technology and know-how, began in Japan. Thanks to the cooperation, Bulgarian yoghurt is now recognised by nearly 95% of Japanese.
In Tokyo, the Minister of Economy and Industry met with the President of Meiji Holdings, Mr Kazuo Kawamura, and the President of Meiji Company, Mr Katsunari Matsuda. At the meeting with the management of the Japanese corporation, it became clear that a joint research center is to be established between the Bulgarian state-owned company LB Bulgaricum and the Japanese company. It will focus on the development of new projects and the exploration of new common markets, as well as on entering other sectors. Representatives of Meiji are expected to arrive in Sofia next week to finalise the project.
The development centre will focus on research and innovation in the field of dairy production and aims to increase research potential and expertise in the field of starters, probiotics, healthy nutrition. The joint institute is expected to be launched as early as 2024.
‘Joint investment in a research laboratory in Bulgaria is one of our top priorities. We expect the new project to be launched in Bulgaria next year. We are laying the foundations for cooperation for the next 50 years,’ Bogdanov said.
‘Bulgaria will always be a reliable economic partner on which Japan can rely,’ Minister Bogdanov added. He stressed the fact that despite the recession in Western Europe, the Bulgarian economy continues to grow by nearly 2%. For the third quarter of the year our country ranks in the top 5 in terms of economic growth within the EU.
Minister Bogdanov is on an official visit to Japan, where he will also meet Mr. Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as the Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mr. Nobumitsu Hayashi.
The Bulgarian delegation also included the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Nikolay Pavlov, the Executive Director of LB Bulgaricum Ivaylo Lilov, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Japan Marieta Arabadzhieva and others.