President Rumen Radev Puts forward Proposal for More Pragmatism in Bilateral Relations at a Meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang
The opening of a direct airline Sofia-Beijing and a branch of the Chinese Bank in Bulgaria will promote tourism, trade and investments, Rumen Radev emphasized
Bulgaria and China should raise to a new level the bilateral political relations, which will give an impetus to and open up new prospects for partnership in economy, investments and other spheres of mutual interest. This was the common position shared by Head of State Rumen Radev and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who held a meeting today in the town of Dalian. This meeting marked the start of the Bulgarian President’s state visit to the People’s Republic of China from 1 to 5 July at the invitation of Chairman Xi Jinping.
At the meeting in Dalian the Bulgarian Head of State put forward a proposal for the basic directions of the development of the Bulgarian-Chinese relations to the Chinese Prime Minister. The document contains nine priority spheres in which Bulgaria and China have a great potential to implement mutually beneficial projects: transport infrastructure; financial and investment activity and financial technologies; IT sector and start-up companies; research and development activity and innovations; opening up a direct airline Sofia-Beijing; tourism, agriculture; sustainable development and urban planning; energy.
The opinion the Bulgarian Head of State expressed is that Bulgaria is still a blank space on the map of Chinese investments and this should be decisively changed. Rumen Radev identified opening a direct airline Sofia-Beijing and also opening a branch of the Chinese Bank in Bulgaria as key prerequisites for the accelerated development of the bilateral relations and for creating conditions for implementing the remaining projects in all spheres. The Head of State emphasized that relieving the investments and the financial exchange and trade between Bulgaria and China serves the interests not only of the two countries but also of our region.
The Chinese Prime Minister highly appreciated the Bulgarian President’s idea, shared at the meeting in Sofia in 2018, for establishing in Bulgaria a Global Partnership Center within the “17+1” initiative, which will contribute to improving the interpretation of the EU legal framework and to implementing promising investment projects. The governments of both countries are already working to put this idea into practice. At the meeting in Dalian the Head of State further noted the opportunity for establishing a Bulgarian-Chinese center for scientific research and innovations in Sofia, which is a key factor for the economy’s strength and competitiveness. “Such research and innovations are a guarantee for a competitive economy and ensure that it develops precisely in the IT sphere and in the added-value productions,” Rumen Radev emphasized. The Head of State gave as an example the partnership between a Bulgarian software company and the biggest Chinese tourist operator and called for multiplying this success.
The partnership in the energy sector, and also increasing Bulgarian exports of dairy products and foods to China so as to achieve a balance in bilateral trade were also among the highlights of the meeting. The Head of State voiced hope for preserving the potential of free trade and expressed the opinion that all debatable issues within the World Trade Organization should be resolved in the spirit of a constructive dialogue and on the basis of multilateral negotiations.
Tomorrow the Head of State will take part in the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, also known as “the summer Davos” and will make a statement within the session “Dialogue between the Chinese state enterprises and the Bulgarian authorities.” Rumen Radev will meet Klaus Schwab, founder and President of the World Economic Forum in Davos, as well as the governor of the Hubei province Su Tzin.
The delegation led by the Head of State includes Iskren Veselinov, chairperson of the parliamentary committee on regional policy, urban development and local government, Halil Letifov, chairperson of the parliamentary committee on transport, information technology and communications, and also assembly deputies, members of the Bulgaria-China Friendship group at the National Assembly – Christo Prodanov, Georgi Kolev, Boryana Georgieva. The delegation includes representatives of scientific and educational institutions, and also of Bulgarian companies in the sphere of information technologies, investments, tourism and agriculture.