Bulgarian exports to China over the last ten years have increased seven times, said the Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov at the the third ministerial conference of China and central and eastern European countries on promoting trade and economic cooperation held in Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang Province.

As a result, China has become second largest export partner for Bulgaria among non-EU countries.

Attention was paid to the important cooperation of the Bulgarian Development Bank with Chinese financial institutions. In 2017, the BBI and the China Development Bank have concluded a loan agreement to support joint investment projects worth €80 million. With regard to foreign trade, there is a scope for further expansion of Bulgarian exports to China and in particular to products with which our country is known in Asia.

These include agricultural and food products, essential oils and cosmetic products thereof, wine and mineral water. 16 Bulgarian companies operating in these sectors will present their high quality products within the forthcoming 4th China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva received here on Wednesday Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Chao. He is in Sofia in connection with the preparation of the 7th CEEC-China 16+1 Summit, which Bulgaria will host in the beginning of July.

Deputy Prime Minister Zaharieva stressed that the Bulgarian government relies on investors and companies from China for the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects in Bulgaria. There was also hope that Chinese investments in Plovdiv airport would also contribute much to the better understanding of Bulgaria and the increase of numbers of tourists from China.

The issue of Chinese participation in the Belene nuclear power plant remains open. Earlier this week, the China National Nuclear Corporation announced that it must receive certain guarantees from the Bulgarian State for this. At present, the position of the Bulgarian Government is that the Belene nuclear power plant must be implemented in a market-based manner – without state guarantees.