Huge scope for Pakistani investors in Bulgaria; special facilities for Pak students : envoy

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

ISLAMABAD, MARCH 05 (DNA) – Mr. Roumen Pirontchev Ambassador of Bulgaria has said his country offered huge business opportunities to Pakistani investors adding being a key European Union country, Bulgaria had a lot to offer to Pakistan.He made these remarks while giving an interview to Diplomatic News Agency (DNA) here on Tuesday.

Roumen Pirontchev further said Bulgaria has always been present in Pakistan. The diplomatic relations between two countries were established in 1965 and the Bulgarian Embassy was opened in 1968.

All throughout these years this relation has improved gradually despite of the geographical distance between our two countries and of the fact of belonging to different historical and cultural backgrounds.

He said, after accession of Bulgaria to EU the development of its political and economic relations with Pakistan marked significant progress. The present stage of the relations between Bulgaria and Pakistan are based on the traditionally high level of understanding in political, trade, economic areas and effective cooperation within the international organizations.

Both our countries are willing to expand the mutually beneficial cooperation, aimed at intensification of the political dialogue, boosting legal frame work, creating favourable conditions for the enhancement of the economic cooperation, the trade and investments between them.

In this respect, Bulgaria is ready to play its part in the development of Pakistan and will welcome any efforts to look for new approaches for mutually beneficial cooperation and for the broadening of the cooperation with Pakistan in various fields.

In January 2011, during the first official visit of a Bulgarian Foreign Minister to Pakistan, an Intergovernmental Agreement on Economic Cooperation between our two countries was signed in Islamabad which envisages the establishment of Joint Bulgarian Pakistani Commission on Economic cooperation.

Without any doubt the trade relations and economic ties between our two countries would grow further in the years to come, he hoped.

Giving a brief synopsis of his efforts that he had made to improve ties between the two counties he said,” one of my main priorities is to upgrade further the political dialogue between our two countries, the development of the inter-parliamentary cooperation and the creation of a friendship group in the National Assembly of Pakistan after the elections in your country, as the one already established in the Bulgarian National Assembly, to organize exchanges of visits of Parliamentary delegations to both countries, to promote the development of the cooperation in the field of education, culture, sports.

We are eager to promote people to people contacts as well as this is the best way we can bring our two people to know each other better”.

The ambassador said, we considered the development of trade and economic relations between Bulgaria and Pakistan as a very important part of our relations. That’s why at present our Embassy is applying efforts to boost the trade and economic ties between our two countries.

The relations between Bulgaria and Pakistan are likely to get more dynamics with the approval of the various agreements in this field as the one I have already mentioned. We are not satisfied with the existing volume of our trade turnover.

At present, our imports from Pakistan consists mainly of textile products, surgical instruments, leather and sports goods, rice and our exports to Pakistan consists of electric batteries and transformers, sulphates, synthetic fibres, wheat, sunflower, coriander and rape seeds, antibiotics.

Except trade with these traditional goods, there is a good potential for a mutually beneficial cooperation between the Bulgarian and Pakistani companies in the field of food processing industry - production of yogurt, yellow and white cheese; in the construction of factories for meat processing and the production of meat products; refrigerator warehouses etc.

When asked to share salient features of Bulgaria education system the ambassador said, after the accession of Bulgaria to EU we have harmonized our educational system with the other European countries.

At present we can witness a rising interest in Pakistani students to study in Bulgarian universities and their number is increasing steadily. One of the reasons for that, I assume, is the quality of education in our Universities, especially in engineering and medical sciences, as well as the affordable tuition fees and living expenses, which are not as high as some other European countries.

In this regard, the Pakistani students, who meet the criteria, are mostly welcome to apply for studies in our country.

“The business climate in Pakistan is conducive. The country is a huge market and a very good place for the foreign investors. Not long time back, two big Bulgarian companies, one in the field of the production of lubricants, the other one in the production of batteries for civilian and military purposes, were willing to establish joint ventures with Pakistani partners and to invest accordingly. Unfortunately, due to the worsening security situation that time in the country, they postponed their plans”.

To a question about his impressions about Pakistan he said, Pakistan was a very diverse country with a wide range of ethnic groups, cultures and languages. Throughout its history it has been inhabited by people of various nationalities and religions.

The nature of your country is unique combining the sea coast of the Arabian sea with the Himalayan, Hindukush and Karakoram ranges. During my long tenure here I managed to make good Pakistani friends and to visit wonderful places in the Northern Areas as Gilgit and Hunza Valley, Skardu, Chitral and Swat valley, he concluded.