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Turkey, Bulgaria help private sector boost trade

The Turkish and Bulgarian governments want to encourage their private sectors to engage with one another in order to enhance cooperation, the Turkish deputy trade minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a virtual Turkey-Bulgaria Business Forum organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Gonca Yılmaz Batur said the event will pave the way for the private sector to build partnerships.

The two countries are emerging from the difficult times caused by a contraction in trade activities due to the pandemic, Batur said. “The close cooperation between Bulgaria and Turkey should be further improved during the recovery period because our good relations have a positive impact on trade,” the deputy trade minister added.

She underlined that maintaining positive dialogue is critical during challenging times.

For his part, Bulgarian Deputy Economy Minister Yana Topalova underlined that Turkey continues to be among Bulgaria’s most prominent strategic partners.

Topalova said the pandemic negatively affected the volume of bilateral trade between Turkey and Bulgaria, as it fell 11% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020.

Noting that Turkey is among the top 10 countries investing in Bulgaria, Topalova said its neighbor’s foreign direct investments were around 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) as of June 1.

“Turkey invested more than 20 million euros in Bulgaria despite the pandemic,” she noted.

Topalova said Bulgaria is establishing new industrial parks to create new opportunities for investors.

“We should work together to eliminate the economic fallout from the pandemic and find new ways for cooperation,” she added.

Nail Olpak, the chairperson of DEIK, said trade figures show that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

“Besides our friendship, the Turkish and Bulgarian business circle, which have been bound with love for years, will courageously proceed to further enhance our trade, investment relations and partnerships,” Olpak noted.

Zeki Sarızeybek, the chairperson of the Turkey-Bulgaria Business Council, underlined that Turkey and Bulgaria are two countries that complement each other despite their differences.

Stressing that cooperation between two countries will ensure Turkey and Bulgaria’s strong presence in the new order, Sarızeybek said: “Although global trade is shrinking in this period, we can improve our business rapidly through cooperation.”

Sarızeybek highlighted the countries’ aim of finding topics that both sides will benefit from, the win-win principle.

Boyko Takov, the executive director of Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), also said the institution is working with its partners all over the world to improve the relations between companies of two countries.

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