New areas for strengthening trade and economic relations between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan are being explored. Today the Minister of Economy and Industry of the Republic of Bulgaria Nikola Stojanov held meetings with the Minister of Economy Mikail Jabbarov and the Minister of Defence Industry Madat Guliyev in Baku.
Bulgaria and Azerbaijan could launch an electricity-for-gas exchange. This was discussed during the meeting between Minister Stojanov and Economy Minister Mikail Dzhabbarov. It was pointed out that Bulgaria is one of the largest producers of electricity in the region, while the majority of Azerbaijan’s capacities run entirely on gas. In case our country can guarantee electricity volumes, Azerbaijan can commit to redirect the released gas to Bulgaria. “This is another opportunity for diversification of our country, especially on the threshold of the winter season,” Nikola Stojanov said.
Minister Stojanov pointed out that it is important for our country to promote the export of Bulgarian goods, well-established on the international markets products from the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, equipment for the food industry, etc. The two countries will partner to improve transport connectivity between them, and Bulgaria will provide a list of priority areas where we are interested in a more tangible presence on the Azerbaijani market.
The possibilities of restoring the direct air service between Baku and Sofia will also be explored. Until the pandemic, the air link had shown increasingly good results, but after the spread of Covid-19 it stopped functioning. Minister Dzhabbarov stressed that their country is making a concerted effort to develop its tourism sector and improving transport connectivity is paramount. The Bulgarian Minister supported the view that easier travel would be a prerequisite for increasing both tourism and business ties between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, Minister Nikola Stojanov also held talks with Madat Guliyev, Minister of Defence Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with whom they discussed opportunities for deepening the partnership between the two countries and exchanging experience in this field. Minister Guliyev stressed that dozens of complaints have been received from their companies that purchase components or materials from our country and whose activities have been severely hampered due to the actions of the previous minister. It should be recalled that for over 40 days, the specialised Committee for Expert Control had not met, which had effectively blocked our country’s military-industrial complex. The Azerbaijani minister congratulated his Bulgarian counterpart for the quick actions to resolve the problem and expressed hope that such a situation would not be repeated.
In 2021, bilateral trade between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan amounted to USD 97.3 million, an increase of nearly 450% compared to 2020.