The Council of Saudi Chambers hosted a Bulgarian delegation led by Minister of Economy Aleksandar Manolev to discuss trade and investment cooperation between the two countries. Attendees included the Ministers of Agriculture and Transportation of Bulgaria and leading business representatives from both countries.
Mr. Manolev encouraged Saudi investors to explore the various opportunities in Bulgaria and benefit from its incentives to foreign investors, pointing to the developments in Bulgarian economy which led it to rank fourth among the fastest growing economies in the EU. He added that Bulgaria has been famous for its cheese industry and exportation.
The Economy Minister noted Bulgaria’s firm relations with many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, to which it has been exporting agricultural equipment, chemical products, medicines, foodstuffs, and fertilizers, among other goods and services. He stated that Bulgaria has been significantly involved in implementing projects in the Arab region, in infrastcturture, airports, factories, roads, bridges, water, electricity, and dams, among others.
He additionally noted that Bulgaria is one of the leading countries in tourism, averaging around 8 million tourists annually, besides its economic stability, and having the best tax laws in Europe. Manolev stated that Bulgaria looks forward to more economic cooperation with the Kingdom and encouraged both sides to explore their respective opportunities and enhance their partnership.
For his part, CSC Chairperson Eng. Ahmed Al Rajhi emphasized the importance of the Bulgarian delegation’s visit as a step towards fostering trade and investment relations between the two friendly countries, and utilizing their respective capabilities and natural resources. He noted the convenient investment environment in Saudi Arabia for Bulgarian investors, expressing the Saudi business community’s interest in investing in Bulgaria and entering into partnerships with their Bulgarian counterpart.
Al Rajhi highlighted the capabilities of the economic environment in the Kingdom and its new economic endeavors, represented in the National Transformation Program 2020 and Saudi Vision 2030, pointing to the advanced position of the Kingdom in ease of doing business. He encouraged Saudi and Bulgarian companies to cooperate in transferring technology and advanced industries, and explore new areas for trade and investment cooperation, particularly in spare part manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture.
President of Bulgaria’s Chamber of Commerce Tsvetan Simeonov gave a presentation titled “Investments in Bulgaria” that shed light on the capabilities and economic advantages of the country, highlighting its distinguished location between Europe, Asia and Africa, and its membership in the EU and WTO. In addition to its attractive investment environment and low taxes and operation costs. He discussed the Bulgarian chamber’s activities and its membership in both the European Chamber of Commerce in Brussels and International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, as well as its efforts to foster Bulgaria’s trade relations with its counterpart worldwide. He added that Bulgaria ranked fourth among the fastest growing economies in the world and was named one of the best investment destinations in the EU in 2016, with vital economic sectors including technology and electronics, food industries, equipment, tourism, and outsourcing business operations.
The meeting included several B2Bs between representatives of Saudi and Bulgarian companies to seek opportunities for trade and investment partnerships between the two sides.
It is worth noting that trade between Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria reached around USD 219 million in 2016, with Saudi exports to Bulgaria representing around 37% of their bilateral trade.