Bulgaria keen to take part in World Cup projects in Doha

Bulgaria will be interested in taking part in projects that are related to 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, said the country’s Minister of Economy and Energy, Dragomir Stoynev.

“Bulgaria can assist Qatar in organising the event by providing goods, construction materials and skilled workers. Bulgarian companies have proven professionalism in the construction of highways, office builds and shopping centres,” said Stoynev, who believes the key sporting event will provide tremendous opportunities for firms in his country.
In an interview with Gulf Times in Doha yesterday Stoynev said there was “considerable potential” for the development of trade and economic co-operation between Bulgaria and Qatar. “To expand our bilateral trade and economic cooperation, we have decided to open a Commercial and Economic Section in our embassy here,” Stoynev said.
He said several sectors can provide enhanced trade and co-operation between the two countries. These include light industry, energy, tourism, agriculture and food processing, automotive, machinery, information and communication technology, engineering and consulting.

Bilateral trade between Qatar and Bulgaria stood at $11.7mn in the first nine months of 2013.
“This is not significant. But the bilateral trade has seen a three-fold growth in the last three years. It stood at only $3.3mn in 2011,” the minister pointed out.

He said bilateral trade has greater prospects given the efforts of the Bulgarian-Qatari Joint Commission (on economic and trade co-operation). Diversifying trade flows between the two countries and including new products in the list of traded goods will also enhance bilateral trade.

“We can offer Qatar high quality lamb, mutton, poultry, cereals, mineral water, high quality ferment cultures for dairy products, construction materials, medicines, electrical and electronic equipment,” Stoynev said.
He said Bulgaria looked forward to signing an agreement with Qatar for the establishment of a joint investment company (dealing with livestock). This is currently being negotiated with Hassad Food.
Stoynev said Bulgaria provided “ideal investment opportunities” for investors including those from Qatar. The country has the lowest budget deficit and public debt in the EU region. Although lower than the pre-crisis years, Bulgaria’s GDP growth in recent years is above the EU average. “We also continue to apply the lowest tax rates in Europe. Corporate tax and personal income tax is only 10%, 5% tax on dividends and 0% tax on reinvested earnings in some 160 municipalities with high unemployment,” Stoynev said.
“As an EU member, Bulgaria can be the gateway for Qatari goods to the European market of more than 500mn customers,” he said.
Stoynev also said Bulgaria strongly supported a free trade agreement between EU and the GCC.

Direct flights between Doha and Sofia urged

Bulgaria has urged Qatar to consider direct flights between Doha and Sofia, the European country’s Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev has said. “Currently, Qatar Airways flies to Sofia with a stopover in Bucharest,” he said.

The minister said Qatar has expressed willingness to consider the direct air link request.
He said tourism is an important sector for Bulgarian economy and accounts for more than 13% of the country’s GDP. In the first nine months of 2013, some 6mn tourists visited Bulgaria, up 5.5% on the same period in 2012. As many as 221 Qatari tourists visited Bulgaria last year (until November 2013). In 2011, the number of Qatari tourists stood at only 50.

Being an EU member country, visitors with a Schengen visa can enter Bulgaria, Stoynev said.

Source: gulf-times.com

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