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Bulgaria regains its place in world arms market

Date: 31.05.2008

Bulgaria's Deputy Economy Minister Yavor Kuyumdzhiev announced Wednesday the country was already regaining its traditional arms export markets in Northern Africa, Europe, and is even gaining ground in the United States.

During the opening of the Hemus 2008 International Defense Exhibit in the city of Plovdiv, Kuyumdzhiev said as well Bulgarian arms production was increasingly finding markets in Egypt, Iraq, and Azerbaijan.

"For the first time we are negotiating direct arms exports for the Arab states as we have so far been exporting through US intermediaries. In the recent years, Bulgaria is returning the export levels of special arms products that we had twenty years ago", the Deputy Minister said.

He announced that in 2007 Bulgaria's arms exports amounted to EUR 180 M, and since the beginning of 2008 new exports permits for EUR 120 M had been issued, which meant that the 2007 volume of exports would be surpassed.

Bulgaria's arms exports during the socialist period amounted to USD 200-300 M, with the exception of the beginning of the 1980s when it amounted to the record USD 1 B per year.

The Bulgarian arms industry is currently producing arms for BGN 450 M (EUR 220) Only 1,5% of these are purchased by the Bulgarian Army according to the reports.

A total 103 arms companies from 20 countries are participating in the Hemus 2008 International Defense Exhibition, including 55 Bulgarian and 48 foreign firms.

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