The President: the Cooperation between Bulgaria and Japan Should Focus on Science, Innovations and the Potential of Young People
What lies behind Bulgaria’s aims to deepen the business contacts between Bulgaria and Japan is the ambitions to have the bilateral partnership model develop an economy with a high added value, innovations and high technologies. This provides opportunities not only for our young people, but also for developing research activity. This is what President Rumen Radev said at a meeting for promoting investment cooperation with Japan. The Head of State was host of the event and the meeting was attended by representatives of some of the biggest Japanese corporations, some of which are visiting Bulgaria for the first time and also by representatives of the Bulgarian business. The foreign companies participating in the meeting realize an annual turnover of more than 390 billion US dollars.
“Japan is Bulgaria’s key partner in the region of Southeastern Asia, not only in terms of the volume of bilateral trade, but also above all in terms of prospects, because there are already Japanese investments in Bulgaria, namely in high technologies and industries with high added value,” President Radev said. He noted that the cooperation with Japan develops the potential and creativity of the young Bulgarians, who are Bulgaria’s biggest asset. The President highlighted as our country’s advantages the strategic location, the economic opportunities and above all the qualified workforce.
“Bulgaria enjoys excellent prospects for intensifying the research-development activity, which should be encouraged,” Rumen Radev further said. The President called for launching joint educational projects and gave as an example the agreement signed between the Technical University of Gabrovo and the Seijo University in Japan for a joint Master’s program. “The projects in the sphere of education are important because without education a high-tech economy, an economy of the future, cannot be developed,” Rumen Radev said.
“Today’s meeting shows that the bilateral business relations enjoy a greater potential than statistical data reveal,” Japanese Ambassador to Bulgaria Masato Watanabe said. He noted that the partnership with Bulgaria creates conditions for the development of trade with the EU and the Western Balkans, which is an advantage for the Japanese companies.
At the meeting held at 2 Dondukov street, the establishment of a Japanese-Bulgarian business association was announced. “The establishment of such an organization is a natural step after President Radev’s visit to Japan and Shinzo Abe’s visit to Bulgaria, and also taking into account the good partnership between the two countries,” Vladislav Mihov, General Manager of Japan Tobacco International – Bulgaria, said. The aim of the association will be to provide additional assistance and facilitate bilateral trade relations and also to support the processes of establishing mutually-beneficial business partnerships.
A report by the Economic Research Institute at BAS was presented, according to which attracting investments from Japan to Bulgaria will have a considerable economic effect on the implementation of strategic long-term goals for our country. “Japanese investors focus on innovative industries, and their aim is to obtain long-term, not short-term benefits,” Professor Daniela Bobeva said. As a specific characteristic she noted also the practice for establishing joint companies with the local business and the public-private partnership.
The forum at 2 Dondukov street was attended by the nationally representative employer organizations, representatives of institutions from the two countries, and also of the academic community in Bulgaria. The Japanese companies that attended the meeting were from the areas of information technologies, electronics, car industry, food industry.
Earlier President Rumen Radev visited the offices of Creative Assembly and SEGA in Sofia, where he met representatives of the leadership of the two companies, among which Kenji Matsubara – President and Chief Operating Officer of SEGA games. The studio for video games development has been bought by the British developer Creative Assembly, owned by SEGA. In the next months Creative Assembly, Sofia is expected to present a new game worldwide, wholly developed by Bulgarian software specialists.