30 June 2022 | 16:04
Rumen Radev: Our compatriots in the Czech Republic are the Bulgarian ambassadors who preserve and pass on to their children the culture and traditions of our homeland2022-05-11 13:31:00
The trade between Bulgaria and the Czech Republic amounts to EUR 1.727 billion and has tripled in the last 10 years, the President said at a Czech-Bulgarian business forum in Prague
The Bulgarian citizens who live and work in the Czech Republic are our ambassadors, who contribute to ensuring that our native culture and achievements find a place in the fraternal and friendly Czech country. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev said at his meeting in Prague with members of the Bulgarian community, which took place on the second day of his formal visit to the Czech Republic at the invitation of President Milos Zeman.
According to official statistics, the number of Bulgarians permanently residing on Czech territory is about 17,000. During his meeting at the Bulgarian Embassy in Prague, Rumen Radev said that through the establishment of 17 societies, Sunday schools, and thanks to the Petar Beron Bulgarian School in Prague, which has a 74-year history, our compatriots passed on to our children the Bulgarian Revival spirit, and preserved our culture, traditions and language.
The ties between the Bulgarian and Czech people date back a long time - as early as the 9th, century with the mission of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, and then in the 19th century, when many Czech scientists, teachers, industrialists, architects, and artists came to the newly liberated Bulgaria to help us build modern institutions and develop industry, infrastructure, and cultural life, the President said. The meeting with our compatriots was attended by the President's wife, Desislava Radeva, who earlier today had visited the Petar Beron Bulgarian School in Prague, where some 125 Bulgarian children are studying.
The excellent ties between the Bulgarian and Czech people are a sound foundation for the promotion of successful bilateral business relations, Radev said at the opening of a Czech-Bulgarian business forum under the motto "Together We Achieve More". It took place earlier in the day at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Prague and brought together leading companies from the industry, energy and electronics, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, fintech, mechanical engineering, food processing, defence and security.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Josef Sikela. President Radev and Minister Sikela noted that over the past 10 years the trade between Bulgaria and the Czech Republic had tripled, which, in their words, was a proof of the prospects for strengthening cooperation. Last year, the trade amounted to EUR 1.727 billion, with the potential to reach 2 billion next year, Rumen Radev said. He highlighted the opportunities for deepening the partnership in areas such as innovation, information technology, automotive industry, defence industry, energy, healthcare, tourism, and infrastructure.
The President pointed to the consequences of the pandemic, the EU energy crisis and hostilities in Ukraine as challenges for business. Rumen Radev said that in order to cope with the situation, the EU needed unity and more efforts to achieve strategic autonomy and energy independence of the countries. More joint investments in innovation, development, education and science were needed to prevent Europe from losing its competitiveness due to the energy crisis, the Bulgarian Head of State said. In the President's words, it is no longer enough to develop business based on established market approaches. Success today depends on the ability to create sustainable partnerships for investments and joint projects in innovation and development, Rumen Radev concluded.
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