The relations between EU and China until recently did not had a rising rhythm. European policy “trade for all”, and the drafting and signing of a number of preferential trade agreements with different partners, are passing China year after year.

In the matter of an preferential trade agreement between two such significant economic powers, can hide many underwater stones and it can certainly be a two-edged knife and that’s one of the reasons not to be a reality yet. Another element is also certain, namely the degree in which such agreement will affect the world trading system.

China’s 16 + 1 mechanism to get in Europe through CEE has prevented many of the negatives of large-scale convergence and mostly provides free trade relations by making a high-quality road to the EU.

Due to the Union’s highly regulated sphere of agriculture, in order for China to be competitive, the liberalization of this European industry would be one of the major breakthroughs that could serve as an example of the dimensions and significance of the steps should be taken Before approaching large-scale convergence between the PRC and the EU.

Such a liberalization of the CAP is not visible in the near future. This creates an environment for developing the “16 + 1″ and ” One Belt One Road ” initiatives.

Against the backdrop of the EU’s inability for a common approach to China and a common trade agreement, Bulgaria is one of the countries maintaining regular close contacts with the PRC, opening doors for closer relations.

Customs cooperation takes place within the framework of the current EU-PRC Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement is in force since 1 April 2005, but no bilateral customs agreement is currently in force.

There is no free trade agreement between the EU and China. An example of Bulgaria’s approach and open door to China is a signed between them a trade preferences under the Community’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of 01.01.2015.

Because PRC is excluded from the list of GSP beneficiary countries as a country with a higher average income per capita, tariff preferences are not provided for trade in goods between the EU and the PRC.

Historically seen as a sign of the long term overlapping of relations and settlements can be viewed some examples, such as the one between Bulgaria and China for the avoidance of double taxation, updated by a protocol published in 2003, legalized since 1990. Since 1985 functional.

Intergovernmental Bulgarian-Chinese Commission for Economic, Trade and Scientific and Technological Cooperation with Co-Chairs Ministers of the economy. The work of the Joint Commission increases the participation of business representatives from both countries, and their meetings and business seminars are organized in parallel with the sessions.

In June 2007, the Commission was renamed an Intergovernmental Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (ECC), whose last session took place on 26 September 2016 in Sofia.

To be able to understand the situation and trend of the enhanced communication, we will look at some key mutual exchanges of visits that intensify sectoral and policy ties, bringing China closer to Europe through the hospitable attitude of Bulgaria.

Between Bulgaria and China function an Intergovernmental Agreement on Economic Cooperation (in force since 2007) and a Double Taxation Convention (2003), create the necessity for contractual legal relations for the development of trade and economic cooperation.

An Additional Protocol was signed on 26 June 2007 with the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Bulgarian Government in relation to previous one signed in 1989 on Mutual Investment Promotion and Protection.

In October 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Co-operation between the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC was signed during the official visit of Vice-President Jiang Ping to Bulgaria.

Over the last years there has been a mutual development of relations with the emphasis of “16 + 1” through Bulgaria in Europe. Bulgaria is a hospitable economic and political area in which the economic stress of a strong and fragmented European market is at its periphery.

In the period September 6-8, 2012, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Tsvetan Dimitrov took part in the seventh edition of the China-CEEC Agriculture Forum in the city of Hefei.

Between 13 and 19 May 2013, Minister of Culture Vladimir Penev took part in the First Forum on Cultural Cooperation between China and the CEECs, announcing the desire of our country to host the next meeting of this format in 2015 Year Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s meeting with PRC Prime Minister Li Keqiang took place in Bucharest on November 26, 2013, during the Second Meeting of the Heads of Government of China-CEEC Initiative. On the visit, Minister Lilyana Pavlova and the Chinese Minister of Housing, Urban and Rural Development signed a cooperation agreement.

During the visit and participation of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in the annual meeting in the period 9-12 September 2013 for the of the New Champions were discussed the possibilities for intensification of the economic relations, Under the Cooperation Initiative between China and the CEECs. On 29 October 2014, the Ministers of Agriculture of Bulgaria and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Association for Agricultural Cooperation in the 16 + 1 format.

On October 15 and 16, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Mr. Wang Yi officially visited our country. He was accepted by President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and held plenary talks with Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov. Bilateral cooperation was discussed under the “16+1″ and ” One Belt One Road ” initiatives.

Followed visit on 22-27 November 2015 by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov for participation in the Fourth Meeting of the Heads of Government of China and the CEE (16 + 1 format). Prime Minister Borisov participated in a joint meeting of the Heads of Government of the CEECs with the President of China, Mr. Jiang Ping, and held bilateral meetings with China Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Mayor of Shanghai Yang Sun. Three intergovernmental agreements were signed during the visit:

Co-operation Memorandum for Co-Promotion of One Belt Once, An Education Cooperation Agreement for the Period 2016-2019 and a Cooperation Agreement between the MAF and the General Administration for Quality Supervision and Quarantine (AQSIQ) .

In February 2016, on a visit to Bulgaria was a delegation of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to identify opportunities for Bulgaria to participate in the new Chinese initiative for the development of sea ports on the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. Bulgaria presented two transport routes connecting Asia with Europe, using the Bulgarian port infrastructure and ferry connections:

Eurasian transport corridor on the Silk Road from China via Kazakhstan and Georgia, as well as the Black Sea-Persian Gulf corridor passing through Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In February 2016, BDZ “Freight Transport” signed a memorandum with Georgia on ferry services, and a railway line for Zhengzhou-Bоurgas is planned to be soon opened.

From 8 to 9 June 2016, Bulgaria participated in the Second Ministerial Meeting on Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and CEE in Ningbo. On September 26-28, 2016, Sofia Municipality hosted the First Meeting of Mayors of Capitals in the 16 + 1 Initiative. Non-governmental organizations working with Chinese partners include the Federation of Bulgarian-Chinese Societies, the Democratic Union of Women, the Union of Bulgarian Lawyers and many others.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met with Prime Minister Li Keqiang on November 5, 2016, during the Fifth Meeting of the Heads of Government of China and the CEECs in Riga, Latvia. As of December 2016, Bulgaria has launched 28 export procedures for China for agricultural and food products. Of these, successfully were completed 3 – for corn, alfalfa and fish.

An optimistic future built on enhanced dialogue and cooperation, economic convergence, increasing investments, both in exports and imports, cultural and social cohesion, mutual respect and trust and ensuring sustainable multi-annual relations in a number of sectors are one of the key elements of the relationship between the Republic of Bulgaria and the People’s Republic of China.

The relationship to this date shows and demonstrates the results of this partnership. Bulgaria’s position in the “16 + 1” initiative is more than geographic, it is the result of years of work, trust and partnership. It provides the basis for a more beautiful and perspective-oriented future.