Vietnam, Bulgaria hold high potential for expanded trade, investment ties hinh anh 1At the event (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam and Bulgaria hold much potential for cooperation in multiple sectors, particularly trade and investment, as heard at the Vietnam-Bulgaria Business Forum in Ho Chi Minh City on September 21.

The event was hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in partnership with the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency.

Vietnam and Bulgaria have forged a strong bond over nearly seven decades, said VCCI Vice President Vo Tan Thanh. The two countries have seen remarkable progress in economics, trade, and cooperation between their localities in recent years, he added.

However, the results of the cooperation are modest and do not match both sides’ potential and expectations, he noted.

Bilateral trade between the two nations reached 109 million USD in 2017. Bulgaria’s exports to Vietnam mounted to 71 million USD with key items including pharmaceuticals, pesticides, wheat, animal feeds, machinery, and construction equipment. Meanwhile, Vietnam shipped to Bulgaria 38 million USD worth of commodities, mostly rice, cashew, coffee, frozen seafood, footwear, clothing, computers and electronic parts.

Bulgaria now operates 11 FDI projects in Vietnam, worth a total of 58 million USD, mainly in the fields of manufacturing, processing, communications, and science-technology.

According to Thanh, to make use of their advantages and unlock the full potential of each side, the countries’ leaders have agreed to develop a “new model of economic cooperation” and boost two-way trade. Under the deal, Vietnam will increase exports of its key products to Bulgaria which will be processed at Bulgarian ports for exports to European countries and the Balkan region.

Emil Karanikolov, Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, said Vietnam and Bulgaria complement each other in economics as Vietnam is Bulgaria's key trade partner in Asia while Bulgaria acts as a transit point for movement of goods between Asia and Europe. In addition to trade, the two countries can also foster cooperation in investment in industrial parks, food processing, and mechanical engineering, he noted.

Bulgaria has adopted a number of incentives to encourage foreign enterprises to do business in the European country in biotechnology, information technology, machinery manufacturing, and entertainment, said Stamen Yanev, Executive Director of Invest Bulgaria Agency.

As a result, the government of Bulgaria has put in place a special program to provide support for foreign investors in terms of completing investment procedures, accessing funds, and labour supply. Foreign investors are also entitled to preferential corporate and income tax rates which are capped at 10 percent in Bulgaria, he added. –VNA