Date: 24.02.2021

Source: Bulgarian Industrial Association

Readed: 1304

Radosvet Radev held two consecutive meetings with the newly appointed Bulgarian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa - Maria Tsotsorkova, and the newly appointed Bulgarian Ambassador to Japan - Marieta Arabadjieva.

The President of BIA Radosvet Radev held two consecutive meetings with the newly appointed Bulgarian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa - Maria Tsotsorkova, and the newly appointed Ambassador of Bulgaria to Japan - Marieta Arabadjieva. Veselin Iliev - General Director of the International Economic Relations Center also participated in the meetings.

BIA and Ms. Tsotsorkova discussed possibilities for partnerships and the development of bilateral economic relations during the assembly. For the first half of 2020, exports from Bulgaria to RSA amount to USD 59.7 million, which denotes a 20% decrease compared to the same period in 2019. Imports from the Republic of South Africa amount to USD 16.0 million, with a double decline of 56.6% compared to 2019. Trade between the two countries amounts to USD 75.7 million, and statistics display a decrease of 32% compared to the first six months of 2019. South Africa is important in the regional market for neighboring countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland.

There are four companies actively communicating with BIA that have a distinct interest in the markets of South Africa, Veselin Iliev announced during the meeting: the Ayali Group - export of essential oils, Nikos Food Engineering - materials for the food and beverage industry, Daisy - trade of electronics, Micro Invest - management software for small and micro-companies. The newly appointed ambassador agreed to assist in establishing contacts and finding proper markets for their products.

Bulgaria's new ambassador to South Africa is accredited to Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and Lesotho. Ms. Tsotsorkova has 10 years of diplomatic experience in New York and has spent the last 4 years as the Bulgarian Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia. She will officially take office in Pretoria on March 25th and pursue her mission as an ambassador, consul, and diplomat.

Radosvet Radev and Ms. Arabadzhiva discussed the Bulgarian-Japanese trade relations and BIA's connection with the Japanese business federation "Keidanren", with which BIA holds a long-term partnership. What is more, BIA's ordinances are designed similarly to those of Keidanren and CBI.

Japan is the third-largest economy in the world (after the United States and China). It is the third-largest car manufacturer, has the largest electronics industry, and is at the top of the innovation rankings. Integrated circuits and electronic micro sets - amounting to 19.7% in 2019, present the largest share of the Bulgarian exports to Japan, followed by exports of leather, fluff, etc., and electrical transformers. In terms of imports, Bulgaria mainly carries passenger cars, electric motors, and generators.

Despite the statistical decline, Bulgaria continues to be largely identified by the rose oil and all raw materials that the rose provides for the cosmetics and food industry. The problem with achieving higher exports remains the complex and numerous standards that Japan imposes on the food industry, as well as the required export quantities, which differ from those of the EU.

The new Bulgarian Ambassador to Japan declared strong ambitions to stimulate foreign trade relations between both countries and is prepared to arrange virtual B2B meetings for Japanese and Bulgarian companies. With BIA's support, Ms. Arabadjieva is also willing to provide up-to-date information on the Industry 5.0 topic, which is supposed to lead to an entirely new model of interaction between humans and machines.

"Bulgaria and Japan have established a long-term partnership and significant strategic relations, but my goal is to look for new forms of productive collaboration between the two countries," the newly appointed ambassador stated. Ms. Arabadjieva is fluent in Japanese and has many years of diplomatic experience in Tokyo. She will take up her position in Japan on March 1st, 2021.

The President of BIA agreed to actively cooperate and assist the forthcoming business delegations from South Africa and Japan and wished both newly appointed ambassadors success.