Overview of the meeting (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City hopes that Bulgaria will create better conditions for the city’s enterprises and goods to access the country’s market, said a local official.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, made the suggestion at a meeting with Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov in the city on September 20.

Phong declared that the city is willing to work a bridge connecting Bulgaria with the ASEAN market and provide the European country with logistics services.

He affirmed that HCM City always attaches much importance to fostering cooperation with Bulgaria, adding that that the establishment of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the city in 2013 showed the country’s interest in developing trade and investment partnership with HCM City.

Phong expressed his belief that the visit of the Bulgarian Minister of Economy will help reinforce the collaboration between Bulgaria and the city, while promoting economic ties between the two sides.

He said the city welcomes Bulgarian firms to invest in the areas of its priority, including food processing and packaging, health care, pharmaceutical production, urban planning, renewable energy, and smart city building.

At the same time, tourism, education, trade are also promising sectors for Bulgarian investors, Phong said.

For his part, Karanikolov lauded socio-economic achievements of Vietnam over the past years.

He held that the bilateral economic and trade cooperation has yet to match potential and aspirations of both sides.

Bulgaria is willing to become one of the first European Union (EU) member countries to approve the free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam with the hope that the deal will bring about more favourable conditions and opportunities for economic-trade and investment activities between the two countries, he said.

Karanikolov said that his country hopes to further bolster collaboration among localities of the two nations, especially in economy, tourism and culture. He vowed that Bulgaria will give optimal conditions for Vietnamese investors, including those from HCM City, to invest and do business in the country, while serving as a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Europe.

The minister also pledged to support Vietnamese investors in legal procedures in the country and Europe, while encouraging Bulgarian firms to invest more in HCM City.

Last year, trade between HCM City and Bulgaria reached 21.8 million USD. HCM City imported chemicals and pharmaceutical materials and products from Bulgaria.

Currently, Bulgaria is running two projects in the city with combined investment of about 1 million USD.-VNA