New developments in the relations of the two neighbouring coutries have been discussed reciently. The meeting that the economic authorities of the two countries attended, was held on February 7, 2018 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi stated that ” On the eve of the transformation of world economic systems and technology, the Turkish and Bulgarian economies will come where they deserve. Turkey and Bulgaria, as the two economies complement each other I believe they will make much contribution to this transformation. Turkey is the fastest growing country among G20 and OECD countries, with the youngest population in Europe”.
After realizing the Turkey- Bulgaria business forum in İstanbul and making plans to hold it in Bulgaria in the fall, Nihat Zeybekçi said they announced 2018 as the ‘Development Year’ between Turkey and Bulgaria.
According to the purchasing power parity mentioned in 2017 report of IMF, Turkey is 13th in the world and 5th in Europe. It is aimed to bring Turkey to the top 10 in the world and top 3 in Europe. Zeybekçi said ” The same is true for Bulgaria. Over the next 10 years, the Bulgarian economy will grow 2.5-3 times faster. The 25% increase in trade volume is the most important indicator of this and this is an extraordinary success. This potential will last for 10 years. The business world should get its share from this potential. We must work to improve this potential, rather than mutually disengaging. Updating the Custom Union Agreement with Europe in 1- 1,5 years and including the sectors like electronics, service, agriculture- food, these two countries will carry the trade volume higher. For this update, the support of Bulgaria as European Union term president will be very important.”
Bulgarian Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov, saying that this visit will contribute to the foreign trade between Turkey and Bulgaria, the Bulgarian government decided to take the initiative in order to improve knowledge of the investment in 2018.
Karanikolov acknowledged that the Bulgarian government has taken the decision to combat corruption and stated that the necessary legislative amendments have been approved for public and private sector cooperations and that large infrastructure projects will be carried out and that there will be opportunities for Turkish firms in these projects. Karanikolov emphasized that it would be easier to import specialists from abroad.
Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board Chairman also commented ” Every new business contract we have to do with the European Union, every new project that has been successfully completed will further raise our reputation and ensure that we grow rapidly. The increase in our trade volume with Bulgaria means that our trade volume with the EU has increased. Turkish firms established in Bulgaria can benefit from EU funds. Already there are 60 large- scale Turkish companies where 10 thousand people are employed and in total there are almost one thousand Turkish companies active in Bulgaria. In 2017 we have reached almost bilateral trade volume of $ 4.5 billion. We know each other, work together and win together”.
Bulgaria, as Turkey’s gate open to Europe; Turkey, as Bulgaria’s gate open to Middle East, Asia and Africa, removing the doors between two countries will develop the bilateral trade and economy.
The Turkey-Bulgaria Business Council of DEIK Chairman Osman Ak stated; “Turkey and we are working together with Sofia T. C. Commercial Counselor shopping for products made in Bulgaria”.
The main Turkey- Bulgaria Trade figures are (2017):
- Total foreign trade volume: 5 billion USD
- Export from Turkey to Bulgaria: 8 billion USD
- Main export items: Other knitted or crocheted fabrics, woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, passenger cars, other non-welded tube, pipe, etc. vulcanised rubber tubes
- Import of Turkey from Bulgaria: 77 billion USD
- Main import items: petroleum oils, refined copper and copper alloys, insulated wires, cables and other electrical conductors; electric energy, untreated lead, untreated zinc
- Trade balance: 33 million USD
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