The 8th Armenian-Bulgarian intergovernmental commission meeting on commercial and scientific-technical cooperation took place today in Yerevan.
Minister of Transportation, Communication and Information Technologies Hakob Arshakyan, the president of the commission from the Armenian side, noted that recently the trade-economic cooperation development is proceeding at an unstable rhythm, despite the high level of relations between Armenia and Bulgaria.
“Bilateral trade figures and rather low. Bulgaria, being a part of the European Union, is a reliable and predictable partner for Armenia, with whom the economic ties have had great significance for our country,” Arshakyan said.
In 2018, turnover between Armenia and Bulgaria amounted 259,000,000 dollars, a 19,6% drop against 2017.
Armenian exports to Bulgaria totaled 215,3 million dollars in 2018, which is a 23,8% decrease against previous years, while imports from Bulgaria to Armenia according to point of origin totaled 43,8 million dollars and grew 9,5%. The positive trading balance totaled 171,5 million dollars.
Arshakyan noted that the current level of bilateral trade and investment relations doesn’t fully reflect the entire economic potential.
“We must use all those platforms that can contribute to strengthening of trade-economic relations”, he said.
“The goal of this commission’s meeting is to contribute to the establishment and expansion of long term and economically mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries’ governments for the benefit of the welfare of our peoples,” Arshakyan continued.
Issues related to education and science, culture, environmental protection, military-technical cooperation, urban development and emergency situations were also discussed.
Addressing his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Zhelyazkov, Arshakyan stressed that the Armenian government is greatly focusing on the development of infrastructures.
He noted the ongoing North-South Road Corridor project in Armenia. “The goal of the project is to link the country’s south to the north by an internationally high standard highway. As a result of realizing the project a direct link will be created between Bulgaria and Armenia, beginning from the ports of the Black Sea, passing through Georgia, Armenia and Iran, and reaching up to the Persian Gulf. A broad opportunity is given to deepen cooperation between our countries in cargo shipments and passenger transportation,” Arshakyan said.
The Armenian government also expressed readiness to cooperate with Bulgaria in harmonizing and integrating digital economies.
Rosen Zhelyazkov, Bulgaria’s Minister of Transportation, Information Technologies and Communication, chair of commission from the Bulgarian side, said they intend to deepen investment cooperation and trade turnover.
“The guarantee for this all is a good investment climate that exists in Armenia, as well as the existing favorable investment environment in Bulgaria,” he said.
“Armenia is an important corridor for Bulgaria for exporting products to Middle Eastern countries. We hope to cooperate based on bilateral interests and trust,” the Bulgarian minister said.
The next session of the commission will take place in early 2021.