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Bulgarian-Vietnamese Business Forum to Open in Sofia

Date: 08.07.2010

A Bulgarian-Vietnamese business forum will take place in Sofia on Thursday, July 8, as part of the visit of a high-level delegation of Vietnam.

The event will be opened at 11 am in the building of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry by Bulgarian Economy Minister Traicho Traikov and Vietnam’s First Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung.

Earlier on Wednesday, Vietnam's Deputy PM and Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov signed an agreement for returning the Vietnamese debt to Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Economy Ministry has announced that 20 Vietnamese companies from fields such as transport, steel-making, oil industry, food production, and banking will take part in the joint forum because of their interest in Bulgaria’s strategic geographic location and its potential, including thanks to the ports of Varna and Burgas, to become one of the major transit hubs connecting Asia and Europe.

Bulgaria has a negative trade balance with Vietnam. The bilateral trade amounted to EUR 64 M in 2010 and is largely formed by joint ventures producing fruit juices, beer, and pharmaceuticals in Vietnam and textiles, shoes, and coffee in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria exports to Vietnam lead, wheat, antibiotics, weaving machines, printing machines, insecticides, and imports coffee, fish fillet, coal, and some consumer goods.

The Bulgarian government believes there is a potential to increase exports to Vietnam of metallurgy machines, wines, medicines, food, and irrigation equipment.

Back in 2008, as the overheated Bulgarian economy started suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, there was a lot of talk in Bulgaria of importing Vietnamese laborers; such plans were precluded by the economic crisis, which led to a rise of unemployment and reduced economic activity.

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