This is the first visit of a Japanese Minister of Economy to Bulgaria in nearly 50 years
Minister Nikola Stojanov welcomed today at the Ministry of Economy and Industry a Japanese delegation led by Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Nishimura Yasutoshi. The Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev also took part in the meeting.
‘This visit, after almost half a century of interruption, is a clear sign of the desire of our two countries to make more effective use of the potential of the economic and trade ties between us,’ Minister Stojanov said. He added that Bulgaria is well known in Japan for its yoghurt, but there are a number of other sectors where partnerships can be built.
Japanese investment in Bulgaria exceeds EUR 100 million and the trade volume for the past year reached USD 325 million. ‘With more activity on both sides we have all the prerequisites to increase these numbers many times,’ Minister Stojanov said. During the talks it was emphasized that there is significant potential for cooperation between the countries in the field of information and communication technologies, automotive sector, low-carbon economy, etc.
‘Bulgaria wants to attract more Japanese investors in industry and in high-tech manufacturing sectors, and our country can give access to the single European market,’ the Bulgarian economy minister added. In this regard, the establishment of joint ventures in various fields with Bulgarian and Japanese participation was discussed, as well as the promotion of Bulgarian industrial zones among potential investors from Japan.
The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the cooperation between LB Bulgaricum EAD and Meiji, and Bulgarian yoghurt is already known in other Asian countries such as China, Thailand and Singapore, it became clear during the meeting. Minister Stojanov informed his counterpart that from this week a similar strategic partnership has been launched with Mongolia and stressed that Japan has been a leading contributor to the success of Bulgarian products in Asia in recent decades. The establishment of a joint scientific research centre in Bulgaria between LB Bulgaricum EAD and the Japanese Meiji was also discussed, the aim of which is to carry out both fundamental and applied research. ‘More joint innovations in it will contribute to a higher level of our partnership in the XXI century’, Nikola Stojanov commented.
At the end of the talks, Ministers Stojanov and Yasutoshi signed a joint declaration of the meeting with a focus on the IT sector, trade and investment promotion, as well as cooperation between Bulgarian and Japanese businesses. ‘I hope that today we will lay the foundations for a more effective economic cooperation and that the meetings between us will be annual,’ Minister Stojanov said.
Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi expressed confidence that today’s visit and the signing of the declaration open a new page in the economic relations between Japan and Bulgaria. In the words of the Japanese minister, Bulgaria has a lot of trained personnel in the field of information and communication technologies and it provides great opportunities for joint initiatives and partnership. Minister Yasutoshi explained that he is in Bulgaria together with a business delegation and the aim is to create more contacts at business level and more Japanese companies to look at Bulgaria.
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Irina Shtonova, the Head of the Political Cabinet of the Minister of Economy and Industry Stanislava Yalamova, representatives of LB Bulgaricum EAD and State Consolidation Company EAD.