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President Radev Met Representatives of Chinese Companies Involved in the Implementation of the "One Belt, One Road" Initiative

2019-07-29 16:50:00

Bulgaria is the shortest route that connects China with Europe, which makes our country the most advantageous entrance for China to the EU. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev said at a meeting with representatives of Chinese companies involved in the implementation of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The talks are a continuation of the Bulgarian President’s state visit in China at the beginning of July 2019, at which a lot of leading Chinese companies were invited to invest in the development of the Bulgarian transport, energy, tourism, innovations.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the leadership of the “China Railway International Group,” a world leader in the construction of a railway and transport infrastructure, and by those of the “Touchstone Financial Holding Group” – a leading financial group, structuring the implementation of international strategic projects within the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, together with more than 20 leading Chinese public and private companies, Chinese investment funds, banks and insurance companies.

The guests briefed the Head of State on their plans to create a platform for investments and implementation of strategic projects in the sphere of infrastructure, energy, agriculture, technologies in the countries from “17+1” initiative. Opportunities for opening a regional center for the development and implementation of this financial and project platform in Bulgaria are explored.

President Rumen Radev voiced his contentment with that the fact that a mere month after his visit to China, the country has already begun to show interest in the guidelines for strategic partnership, outlined at the meeting between the Bulgarian and Chinese Head of State. Rumen Radev noted that Bulgaria actively supports the “One Belt, One Road” and “17+1” initiatives for cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries.

It is not accidental that Bulgaria is planning to open a Global Partnership Center for the initiative. In the President’s words, the volume of Chinese goods for Europe is increasing every year and this requires big and modern logistic centers in Europe and Bulgaria offers some of the best conditions to this end.

The Bulgarian Head of State recalled the three priority projects he presented during his visit to China at the invitation of his counterpart Xi Jinping: opening a direct flight Sofia-Beijing and a branch of a Chinese bank in Bulgaria, and also establishing a Bulgarian-Chinese research and innovations center in Bulgaria. Their aim is to facilitate the trade and investment exchange and to stimulate the activity of the Chinese investors.  The President added that during his visit to Croatia, on his own initiative, together with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic they sent a joint proposal to Xi Jinping for opening a direct flight Beijing-Sofia-Zagreb. Bulgaria can offer a lot of complexes of opportunities. We are open and ready to develop these opportunities, Rumen Radev further said.

Bulgaria has a strategic location and the country actively supports the “17+1”  initiative, Kenny Song said, who is chairman of the “Touchstone Financial Holding Group.”  In his words, this is a prerequisite for the financial group to plan opening a branch in Bulgaria. We sincerely hope that within the “One Belt, One Road”  initiative China and Bulgaria will find more opportunities for cooperation, more real projects will be implemented, he said and added that they are ready to stimulate the implementation of more projects. The president of “China Railway International Group,” Chen Shipping said that they are exploring the business environment in Bulgaria and concrete projects, including the Port of Varna.

Although China and Bulgaria have an excellent cooperation, we believe that there is still huge potential and prospects for development, the Chinese Ambassador to Bulgaria Dong Xiaojun said. In his words, the visit of the Chinese delegation has the aim to realize the consensus on mutually beneficial cooperation, reached at the meeting between the state leaders of China and Bulgaria during Rumen Radev’s visit.

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