Bulgaria’s newly appointed Ambassador to Israel Rumyana Bachvarova met today with the President of BIA Radosvet Radev and Veselin Iliev - Director for International Economic Relations Center. The three discussed the possibilities for partnership in terms of improving the foreign economic relations between the two countries.
According to preliminary data, bilateral trade between Bulgaria and Israel for 2018 amounted to USD 126.4 million, a decline of 30 %, as a result of a decrease in both exports and imports.
Bulgarian exports amount to USD 78 million. (36.7 % decline), while imports amounted to USD 48.4 million. (15.7 % decline). The drop in Bulgarian exports is due to the significant decrease in sales of petroleum oils to Israel (100 %), as well as other goods such as cigarettes, bottles, jars (49.6 %), chairs and seats (20.6 %), furniture (15.4 %) and bakery products (55.2 %). Imports also saw a significant drop in oil (100 %), as well as plastic plates, tapes, etc. (32.5 %) and lenses, prisms and mirrors (21 %).
The structure of exports and imports is very diverse, but given the export opportunities of both countries, it is subject to optimization and enrichment. In 2018, Bulgaria exported to Israel mainly furniture and parts for furniture, plates, sheets, foil, tapes and plates of pore less plastics, bottles, jars, float glass and ground glass.
The import goods from Israel predominate: copper waste and debris, insecticides, lenses, prisms, mirrors and other optical elements.
Both countries will seek more in-depth cooperation in the field of agriculture. Already in 2013, BIA received inquiries from Israeli investors who are interested in the Bulgarian lands for intensive agriculture, as only 20 % of the land of Israel is suitable for growing crops.
The field of innovation also has untapped potential. Just in the last 5 years, nearly 300 Silicon Valley multinational companies have opened their offices, subsequently acquired a number of small local startups, and have been successfully operating in Israel.
The shared experience that the Bulgarian start-up companies would receive would also be among the leading ambitions of our new ambassador. The niche for export of Bulgarian electric bicycles, as they are produced in several companies in Bulgaria, is not used.
Opportunities for more business meetings between entrepreneurs, targeted business delegations and active work on specific projects that are mutually beneficial to both parties are foreseen.
Ms. Bachvarova is expected to take office officially at the end of June 2019.