Bulgaria considers Azerbaijan as priority partner – Boyko Borissov (INTERVIEW)

Bulgaria considers Azerbaijan as priority partner – Boyko Borissov (INTERVIEW)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.18

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Trend’s exclusive interview with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

Question: How do you assess the current level of economic relations between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria? What are the prospects for increasing the volume of bilateral trade turnover between the two countries?

Answer: Bulgaria attaches great importance to its relations with Azerbaijan and considers the country as a priority partner given the wide prospects for developing cooperation in various fields of mutual interest. The Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in March 2015 reflects the common will to further strengthen our ties.

Taking into account the excellent relations between our countries and the established legal basis for cooperation, we consider that the volume of bilateral trade does not meet the potential of Bulgaria and Azerbaijan and we would like to intensify our trade and economic relations, including through the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation.

I am fully convinced that there is great potential for cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of diversification of energy resources and routes of supply.

On January 16, 2018, within my visit to Baku, I was honored to attend, together with my Azerbaijani colleague – Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, the official ceremony of opening the first ever scheduled air service linking Baku to Sofia. I am persuaded that this direct line will contribute to the development of the bilateral business and economic ties, and will promote tourism in Bulgaria and Azerbaijan.

Q.: Bulgaria will chair the Council of the EU in 2018. What will be the priorities of Bulgaria’s chairmanship? Which issues related to EU-Azerbaijan cooperation will be in focus of Bulgarian chairmanship?

A.: We believe that the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU is an additional opportunity to expand the cooperation between our Bulgaria and Azerbaijan.

The Western Balkans is a key foreign policy priority of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council. It is vital to reaffirm the European perspective of the region.

Our main priorities are: "The Future of Europe and Young People - Economic Growth and Social Cohesion"; "European Perspective and Connectivity for the Western Balkans"; "Security and stability in a strong and united Europe"; "Digital economy and skills of the future". They follow from the Trio Estonia-Bulgaria-Austria programme and are attuned with the European Commission’s legislative agenda for 2018.

We strongly support the Eastern Partnership as a strategic dimension of the European neighborhood policy and key factor for stability in Eastern Europe. The Bulgarian Presidency pays also special attention to the Danube and Black Sea region.

Bulgaria welcomes the progress of the negotiations on a new comprehensive agreement between the European Union and Azerbaijan, which will set up a new stage in the relations between them.

Q.: Currently, the Southern Gas Corridor project, which envisages Azerbaijani gas supply to Europe, is well underway. Bulgaria will also receive this gas via the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB). How do you assess Azerbaijan’s role in ensuring the energy security of Bulgaria and Europe in general?

A.: Bulgaria is interested in the implementation of strategic energy and transport infrastructure projects linking the EU and Azerbaijan such as the Southern Gas Corridor. We highly appreciate the role of Azerbaijan for the energy security and natural gas supply diversification of Bulgaria and Europe. Azerbaijan is not only a major gas source, but also holds a key role in the realization of the Southern Gas Corridor which will guarantee Europe’s energy security.

Bulgaria and Azerbaijan enjoy very good partnership in the energy field. An expression of this partnership is the contract concluded between Bulgargaz and SOCAR for the supply of natural gas to Bulgaria starting from 2020. We expect the construction of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) to start in June 2018, and the extension to Turkey to be ready by July. Thus, the delivery of the contracted 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from the Shah Deniz Stage 2 to Bulgaria will be guaranteed.

Q.: Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia launched Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in late 2017. Is Bulgaria interested in using Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway for transporting its goods?

A.: We consider Baku – Tbilisi – Kars railway line as a strategic transport project, which could bring benefits not only for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey but also for Bulgaria and other European countries.

The railroad will facilitate the economic cooperation between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan.

As you know, the EU welcomed the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line in a special statement with regard to the further improvements of the transport links between Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia.

Q.: Which preferences can Bulgaria offer to Azerbaijani businesses for attracting their investments in the country’s economy? Which spheres in Bulgaria are the most promising for Azerbaijani investments?

A.: We would like to develop the bilateral trade and economic relations and to make the most of the opportunities for joint investment. In this regard, we would welcome a stronger interest of the Azerbaijani investment policy towards our country. Bulgaria's membership in the EU creates prerequisites for joint production and supply of goods for the EU and neighboring countries. Despite the negative effects of the global financial and economic crisis, Bulgaria succeeds in maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability. We have the most favorable taxes in the EU and a highly skilled workforce.

The government also applies a number of additional incentives to encourage foreign investment. There is great potential in sectors such as energy - gasification and gas distribution, building, tourism, including real estate, agriculture and food industry, pharmaceutics , etc.

Q.: Bulgaria has always supported Azerbaijan’s fair position in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. How do you see the ways of resolving this conflict?

A.: The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has no military solution and may only be resolved through a political settlement. Bulgaria’s position of principle is that the conflict can be solved only through negotiations and the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group and its co-chairs, with the assistance of the European Union, as well as through active dialogue between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

---

Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

Iran to inaugurate more dams, water treatment plants
Iran to inaugurate more dams, water treatment plants
Iran reveals housing units built within Mehr Housing Project
Iran reveals housing units built within Mehr Housing Project
Chemical fertilizer production plants in Iran's Bushehr province resume operations
Chemical fertilizer production plants in Iran's Bushehr province resume operations
Loading Bars
Latest
174 illegal immigrants rescued off western Libyan coast: IOM
UN chief saddened by enormous loss of life in Myanmar landslide
State Department warns top U.S. firms over supply chain risks linked to China's Xinjiang
Feature: Kenyan cybercafes boom as COVID-19 increases digitization of services
Alibaba Cloud announces business expansion in Southeast Asia
Egypt receives 313 tourists from Switzerland, Belarus amid flight resumption
McDonald's to pause U.S. reopening of dine-in services by 21 days
Iran to inaugurate more dams, water treatment plants
Azerbaijan extending special quarantine regime
Azerbaijan increases import of Indian products
Azerbaijani Agriculture Ministry discloses volume of harvested cereal crops
Bulgaria, Greece to ensure clear distribution of tax profits from IGB
BP, Enagas to promote projects to reduce emissions
Azerbaijan to start exporting hazelnuts to Egypt, Pakistan, Italy
Azerbaijan’s Az-Granata to greatly increase revenues from export of pomegranate juices, wine
Turkmenistan can increase export to Russia’s Astrakhan
Revenues of Southern Gas Corridor CJSC rise
Georgia's Namakhvani HPP receives building permit
Export of Azerbaijani products to Australia edges up
DAIR Hotels & Restaurants Association talks prospects for gastronomic tourism in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan confirms 572 new COVID-19 cases
Georgia's National Bank carries foreign exchange intervention to stabilize lari
Public services digitalization leads to indirect economic effects in Kazakhstan
Southern Gas Corridor CJSC’s assets up
Data on cargo transshipment from Kazakhstan via ports of Turkey announced
Turkmenistan’s Demiryollary to buy materials for track superstructure via tender
Georgia makes changes in preferential agro-credit system for food industry
Azerbaijani gymnasts congratulate policemen on professional holiday (VIDEO)
New opportunities from UNEC for those who want to study Design (PHOTO)
Demand for notes of Azerbaijan's Central Bank surpasses supply
Turkey discloses volume of cargo transshipment through Antalya port
Azerbaijani Agriculture Ministry talks issuing subsidies to farmers
Georgia expands agriculture support programs
Turkmenbashi Complex of Oil Refineries opens tender for feasibility study preparation
Azerbaijani banks' demand at CBA's foreign exchange auction rises
EBRD reveals total investments volume in Turkmenistan
Payment card turnover increases in Azerbaijan
U.S. trade deficit widens as exports fall to lowest level since 2009
Azerbaijan sees growth in volume of deposits
Kazakh president makes amendments to laws on ensuring internet accessibility
Ryanair resumes flights from Greece after four-month grounding
Georgia decreases live chickens export to Azerbaijan
Bank lending on rise in Azerbaijan’s capital and districts
Azerbaijan working on optimizing usage of excess energy
Japan significantly raises import of Kazakh-made goods
Get 4G MiFi device and 3 months of 10 GB internet for just 119 AZN from Azercell!
Kazakhstan, Turkey to cooperate in SMEs development
Turkey's trade turnover with France shrinks
Geological exploration in Kazakhstan to be held over next 4-5 years
Georgian ambassador: Southern Gas Corridor to bring additional investments
Amount of mortgage loans issued by Azerbaijani banks drops
UK says significant differences remain on Brexit free trade deal
Turkey not ruling out leaving Istanbul Convention
Iran reveals housing units built within Mehr Housing Project
Georgia, Azerbaijan to hold another business forum - ambassador
Italy's Prada sales in Asia up double-digit, trend will continue - CEO
Uzbekistan's Uzbekneftegaz overhauls natural gas well in Karakalpakstan
Several airlines to carry out charter flights to bring Georgian citizens home
Uzbekistan may implement joint projects with Spanish Inditex company
Volume of cargo transshipment from Portugal via Turkish ports revealed
Uzbekistan's COVID-19 cases nearing 9,000
Real estate expert talks car prices in Azerbaijan following fuel price rise
Kazakh-Turkish JV opens tender to buy wells piping spare parts
Tesla beats vehicle delivery estimates for second quarter
Singapore's companies mostly operate in Kazakhstan's trade sector
Uzbekistan launches paper production facility
Tender on building overhaul opens in Azerbaijan's Gabala
Entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan to receive loans under state guarantees
EBRD to provide new loan for Turkmenistan's construction sector
Turkey's five-month cargo transportation to Ukraine almost doubles
Azerbaijan's Entrepreneurship Development Fund reveals amount of issued loans
Azerbaijan’s energy minister: It is important to continue expanding OPEC+ format
Ambassador talks cooperation between Azerbaijan, Georgia to increase transit potential
American Airlines warns of 25% drop in international capacity in 2021 summer
Azerbaijan marks growth in number of debit cards
Loan term extended for entrepreneurs in several spheres of Azerbaijani agricultural sector
Geostat: Bulgaria ranks third among largest importers of Georgian products
Chemical fertilizer production plants in Iran's Bushehr province resume operations
Azerbaijan reveals data on lending to economy
Azerbaijani president makes phone call to Russian president
Turkish BOTAS announces volume of oil shipment from Ceyhan terminal
Uzbekistan, US may establish joint investment fund
Liberty Steel Hartlepool updates on work at Umid field
IRENA to partake in Azerbaijan's bioenergy mapping
Banks of Uzbekistan to sell gold bullions
Iran's AEO spokesman talks Natanz nuclear facility damage following accident
Ambassador: SOCAR actively participates in gas supplies for Georgia's new projects
Amount of problem loans down in Azerbaijan
Uzbekneftegaz increases gas production in Uzbekistan's Karakalpakstan
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 2
Turkmenistan working with USAID to find best solutions agricultural pests
Uzbekistan to take measures to further improve agricultural management system
Kazakhstan's renewable energy to benefit from long-term power system dev't scenarios
Uzbekistan intends to issue Eurobonds in national currency
Azerbaijani, Afghan, Turkmen presidents meet through videoconferencing (PHOTO)
USAID intends to strengthen energy co-op with Turkmenistan
Kazakhstan introduces new standards for halal goods production
Bank deposits in Azerbaijani regions mostly made in national currency
Turkmenistan working to obtain status in WTO
Turkmengas strengthens production of enterprises with new equipment, vehicles
All news