A credit line agreement of 1.5 billion euros for Bulgarian companies was signed by the Bulgarian Development Bank and the China Development Bank in the presence of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Li Keqiang. The funds are given by the Chinese bank and through the BDB will go to low interest loans for Bulgarian companies.

A total of 10 agreements were signed after talks between Borisov and Li Keqiang at the Council of Ministers.

China has interest to participate with investments in the high-speed railway construction project connecting Danube River with Black Sea coast and with Greek harbors on Aegean Sea.

Agreements for cooperation for the construction of a tunnel under Shipka peak, building “Black Sea”, “Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo” and “Hemus” highways were also signed by the Minister of Regional Development and Management with five Chinese companies. “Belene” Nuclear Power Plant was also a subject of interest and Li Keqiang promised Chinese assistance for the successful end of the project.

In the framework of the China-CEEC Cooperation Platofrom (16 +1) which Bulgaria considers as an additional opportunity to expand its relations with China, a number of meetings were held between representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and Management and potential Chinese investors resulting in the agreements signed today. Their aim is to continue dialogue and find the optimal models for the implementation of infrastructure projects in Bulgaria – without state guarantees, taking into account the interests of both sides and the obligations of Bulgaria as a Member State of the EU and in line with the current regulatory framework.

Prime Minister Bojko Borisov and the President of the Chinese State Council, Li Keqiang, also announced the establishment of a joint training and education centre for Chinese business at the opening of the prime ministers’ meeting of the 16 +1 initiative. This centre will help the entry of Chinese companies, their participation in tenders and procedures in the EU so as not to lead to criminal procedures and failed transactions.

Li Keqiang pointed out the need to promote free trade, as “for a world that does not involve all stakeholders, there is no future” and there is a need to stimulate a multilateralism in business and trade in order to prevent the global economy from being slowed down.

This summit was seventh since the inauguration of the Cooperation Platform between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (“16 +1”) and agreed during the previous summit in Budapest.

The forum came ahead of the EU-China Summit in Beijing on 17 and 18 July. China is currently looking for a ally in the face of EU and insists that they work together against the protectionism and policies of President Donald Trump and even come up with a request for a union against US action.