25 September 2009, Friday, 15:26
author: Elvira Latypova
The ways of activation of interregional relations between Bulgaria and Russia were under discussion in Ufa today. The “round table” to the topic “Regional cooperation between Bulgaria and Russia from the point of view of the idea about all-European home” has taken place in the building of State Council RB. This is the main point in the program of Bulgarian delegation’s staying in Bashkortostan. The visit is organized within the frames of the Year of Bulgaria in Russia.
Opening the meeting the State Consultant under President RB Sergey Lavrentiev said that at present stage humanitarian relations predominated in our bilateral cooperation. From economic point of view no serious moves were observed. The statistics proves it to be true: Bulgaria is found only on the 61st place in the list of partners RB. Interregional cooperation should activate Russian-Bulgarian cooperation in a whole and the participants of the “round table” were quite certain of that. At the same time they underscored several times that cooperation could be successful only if the concrete projects were to the fore. The visit is called to show the good to full advantage. Wide program, including visits to the leading agricultural enterprises and industrial productions, is offered to the guests. This acquaintance will be continued in November: the meeting for Bashkir and Bulgarian businessmen will be organized in Ufa and all hope this meeting will help to correct the economical statistics.
For today the figures look rather decently. Thus, in 2008 the trade turnover between our republics made about 5,4 million dollars. Bashkir export made nearly 4,9 million from this sum. According to information of Ministry of industry and external economic relations at the beginning of this year the volume of Bulgarian investments in economics of Bashkortostan made more than a decent sum – 34,2 thousand dollars. Therefore, the overall external trade picture fully depends on one-time operations, for example, from deliveries of a large consignment of caoutchouc.
Ferrous metals and products of organic chemistry are main export items. Bulgaria in its turn provides us with paint-and-lacquer materials, foods and chemicals.
Several quite concrete proposals were ventilated during the discussion. Thus, in opinion of the deputy Minister of industry and external economic relations Vilory Yakupov Bulgarian foodstuffs can face stable demand in the Bashkir market. Both republics have still unreleased potential in tourist sphere but strict visa regime between our countries is one of the most serious hampering factors in development of tourism. The softer visa regime might double the number of Russian tourists on the territory of Bulgaria but this problem should be solved at the federal level. One more question, which has to be solved at the state level, is organization of direct flights between Bulgaria and Bashkortostan.
In a whole the informational cooperation is of paramount importance for both parties and the ways of exchanging information will be discussed further. The main information will be obtained by the guests in the course of their reconnaissance visit to our Republic and from catalogues of investment projects.