Rumen Radev: Together with President Xi Jinping We Entered a New Stage in Bilateral Relations and the Bulgarian Government, Business and Local Authorities Should Take Up this Great Opportunity
Having adopted the declaration for establishing strategic partnership between Bulgaria and China yesterday, together with President Xi Jinping we entered a new stage in our relations. Henceforth taking up this great opportunity by Bulgaria crucially depends on the government’s will, competence and energy, and also on the initiative of the Bulgarian business and Bulgarian municipalities. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev told journalists in Shanghai. The President is on a state visit to China at the invitation of his counterpart Xi Jinping.
The Head of State emphasized that not only have relations of strategic partnership been established, but also the dialogue with President Xi Jinping himself, based on mutual trust, has been opened. “This is a result not only of our joint participation in the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, but particularly of the idea to establish a Global Partnership Center in Bulgaria under the “17+1” initiative”, the Head of State said and added the Prime Minister, the Spokesperson of the parliament and the Chinese President highly appreciate the idea.
In Rumen Radev’s words, China has shown an interest also in three priority projects, which the Head of State presented at his meetings – opening a direct flight Sofia-Beijing and a branch of a Chinese bank in Bulgaria, and also establishing a Bulgarian-Chinese center for scientific research and innovations in Bulgaria. China is completely aware of the crucial importance of these projects for opening up opportunities for all of the other initiatives. The two state leaders agreed to maintain the dialogue on these issues so that a review of what has been achieved can be periodically made.
“The Chinse economic and investment policy are based on a market principle and rest on the interest of the business. However, the direction President Xi Jinping will set is very important and he clearly set it at the plenary talks,” Rumen Radev further said. Rumen Radev gave as an example the fact that after he raised the issue at his meeting with Xi Jinping , within a minute the problem with the limited access of Bulgarian producers of milk and dairy products to the Chinese market, for which the reports for phytosanitary control were signed two years ago, was solved. “Our business can practically import dairy products to the Chinese market and the scope of importing agricultural products can be expanded,” Rumen Radev said.
At each meeting with the President, the Prime Minister and the Spokesperson of the Parliament, the Bulgarian Head of State submitted the document whereby basic directions for the development of the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and China are proposed. Rumen Radev noted that the Bulgarian government will be briefed on the results of the visit and he expects coordination and pooling efforts to achieve concrete results.
The EU member states that are in relations of strategic partnership with China are Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, President Radev further said, taking a question on the extent to which the joint declaration for strategic partnership adopted yesterday is harmonized with the EU policy. These are countries in which enormous Chinese investments are flowing and, in the president’s words, the first six of them frame the European policy so that it will be improper, to say the least, for these countries to accept the investments and at the same time say “you are not acting well.” The Head of State added that he is in China to defend the Bulgarian interest, and at the same time, the European policy. “An agreement was signed for a comprehensive partnership between the EU and China way back in 2003 so that I am following the EU policy in the best possible way,” the President commented.
Later at a meeting with the mayor of Shanghai Ying Jong, President Radev voiced our country’s interest in a follow-up expansion of the ties with China’s biggest economic, trade, financial and cultural center, with a population of 24 million and a GDP worth almost 500 billion dollars. The Head of State emphasized that Shanghai is a big gateway for Chinese export, for China’s communication with the world and a large part of the bilateral trade with China so far has passed through this city. Information technologies, electric transport, education, building a modern rural environment and others were identified as particularly promising areas for deepening the partnership.