“There are favorable conditions for development of the bilateral commercial and economic relations between Bulgaria and Iran. These conditions are as a result of the announced implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan under the Iranian Nuclear Programme and the dropping out of the restrictions for the business so far.” This was declared by the Deputy Minister of Economy Lyuben Petrov at the opening of the Bulgarian Iranian business forum in Tehran. The event is organized within the framework of the 18th Session of the Mixed Intergovernmental Bulgarian-Iranian Commission for Economic and Scientific Technical Cooperation which was conducted from 6 to 9 March 2016 in the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Bulgaria has a potential and an interest for increase of the realization of products of the pharmaceutics, the chemical industry, machine building and electrical engineering production, products and services of the information and communication technologies, agricultural production, equipment, transport, energy, tourism”, Deputy Minister Petrov emphasized. He pointed out the readiness of the Bulgarian country to support any specific business initiative, in the form of exchange of business visits and delegations, conduct of business forums. “The objective is to encourage the companies from the two countries better to get acquainted with the existing potential for growth in our mutual trade. Adequate mechanisms are needed for direct payments and export insurance”, the Deputy Minister of Economy also said. He added that the business from the two countries may make use of the existing possibilities also through joint initiatives, which they may rely for support on the Bulgarian part for.
Representatives of 77 Bulgarian companies took part in the work of the Bulgarian – Iranian Business Forum. The business delegation was organized by the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency /BSMEPA/, with the cooperation of the Service for Trade and Economic Issues – Tehran. Over 100 companies showed interest in the event on the Iranian part.
Earlier Deputy Minister Petrov met the Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade and Chairman of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization Valiollah Afkhami. The two of them discussed the condition of our bilateral economic relations and the possibilities for their promotion. The two Deputy Ministers united around the standpoint that the current levels of the commodity exchange between Bulgaria and Iran do not correspond to the potential of the two countries and the objective is that it should reach 1 billion US Dollars. The two Governments should concentrate their efforts onto the encouragement of the companies for more active work between them. Specific measures according to the Deputy Minister Valiollah Afkhami may be participations in fairs, the elimination of possible visa problems, the establishment of a direct airline between Bulgaria and Iran. Within the context of the Chinese Project for new “Silk Road” Iran and Bulgaria already work on the building up of a new transport and transit corridor which passes through the territories of Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, the Black Sea and Bulgaria.
Iranian Deputy Minister paid attention to the fact that there is a serious potential for cooperation in the sector of the engineering and technical services as well as possibility for building up joint ventures between companies from the two countries. In conclusion Deputy Minister Valiollah Afkhami pointed out that the cooperation with other countries is of special significance for his country also because of the drop out in the prices of oil which encourages Iran to develop and export other products and not only crude oil and natural gas. On his part Deputy Minister Lyuben Petrov invited his colleague to visit Bulgaria with a business delegation of interested Iranian companies.
According to the Bulgarian statistics for a 10-year time period from 2004 to 2014 the commodity exchange between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Islamic Republic of Iran increased over 10 times from 14.3 million US Dollars to 166.2 million US Dollars. The export of Bulgaria increased from 11.9 million US Dollars in 2004 to 123.9 million US Dollars and the import from Iran from 2.4 million US Dollars for 2004 to 42.3 million US Dollars in 2014. The growth is tangible, but the Bulgarian country considers that the values still do not correspond to the potential of the two economies. In 2015 the bilateral trade turnover preserved its high levels reaching 155.2 million US Dollars, of which Bulgarian export for 139.6 million US Dollars and import from Iran for 15.6 million US Dollars. The structural analysis for the last few years has indicated that the mineral and chemical phosphorus fertilizers, the tobacco articles and the medicaments occupy the biggest share in the export of Bulgaria for Iran.