Date: 07.01.2019

Source: Bulgarian Industrial Association

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Bulgaria’s new ambassador to Montenegro - Meglena Plugchieva met today with the President of BIA Radosvet Radev. The two discussed the possibilities for partnership in terms of improving the trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Currently Montenegro is a trading partner with which Bulgaria has an insignificant commodity exchange (EUR 18 million) and relatively weakly developed trade and economic ties. Between the two countries there are still poorly used opportunities to expand business contacts in the food, metallurgical, textile and furniture industries. The products of the Bulgarian light and food industry are potentially interesting for the Montenegrin market. Serious opportunities for participation of Bulgarian companies in infrastructure projects, which have been financed by China and the EU, were made clear during the meeting.

A positive trend, however, is that in recent years the trade has constantly grown and the trade balance is positive for Bulgaria. Bulgaria exports to Montenegro mainly bread and pasta products (biscuits), medicines, cigarettes and cigarillos, chocolate and other food products, plastic products, electrical appliances (mainly boilers, cookers and dishwashers). From Montenegro we import mostly untreated aluminum, glassware, parts and accessories for cars, trailers and semi-trailers for vehicles, alloy steels and others.

Bulgarian investments in Montenegro amount to about 240,000 Euro, and Bulgarian companies are currently represented on this market through their commercial representations such as: “Kalvacha Gas”, “Prista Oil”, “Rubella”, “My Gas”, “Office 1”, “Golden Rose”, “Technomarket”, “Intertrust” and others. Small and medium-sized companies operating in Montenegro have limited interest in investing in the mining and processing sectors. Montenegro identifies as priority for attracting investments the following sectors: infrastructure, energy, food production, tourism. Montenegro is not included in the target countries of investment marketing of the Bulgarian Investment Agency, given the weak bilateral interest and low levels of bilateral investment.

The last session the Bulgarian-Montenegro Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation was held in 2012 in Podgorica. According to the established practice, the sessions are held on a rotational basis in the capitals of the two countries, and the fourth session should be hosted by Bulgaria.

Meglena Plugchieva and Radosvet Radev agreed to regularly exchange information of interest for Bulgarian companies as well as to establish closer links between business associations in both countries. Among the highlights of the future partnership will be support for Montenegro’s European integration in the context of the Balkan Perspective outlined by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2018. The President of BIA Radosvet Radev is convinced that “Bulgarian business circles can give valuable experience to their Montenegrin colleagues and partners.”