One of the main priorities of the Bulgarian State and Government is deepening strategic dialogue with key partners, such as Turkiye, said here on Thursday caretaker Innovation and Growth Minister Alexander Poulev during the opening of the International Business and Investment Forum in Istanbul, organized by the InvestBulgaria Agency. Poulev noted that there is strong political will and economic conditions for this.

A month ago a historic agreement was signed after the high-level meeting between  presidents Rumen Radev of Bulgaria and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkiye. This is proof of the strong political will. Minister Poulev pointed out that the delegation at the forum includes three Bulgarian ministers, seven mayors, representatives of local authorities in key regions in Bulgaria and leading Turkish companies, all of which is further evidence of the strong political will for strategic dialogue.

According to Poulev, Turkiye is a key foreign trade partner of Bulgaria, ranking in the top five in terms of exports (over EUR 2.5 billion for the period January – November 2022), with a growth of nearly 33% compared to 2021. On an import basis, Turkiye is among Bulgaria’s top three partners with over EUR 4.3 billion euros (January – November 2022) and a growth of 55.4% compared to 2021, Minister Pulev said. “We have the ambition to reach EUR 10 billion in trade,” the Minister added.

Poulev pointed out that trade between Bulgaria and Turkiye in the 2017-2021 period amounted to EUR 22.8 billion, and direct Turkish investments in Bulgaria exceeded EUR 1 billion. He also pointed out that more than 2,200 Turkish companies have so far chosen Bulgaria as a preferred place to do business, among them companies such as Alcomet, Teklas, Sark.

“Through the InvestBulgaria Agency, the organizer of this Forum, we have prioritized 29 companies that have received additional incentives from the State, ” Poulev said. He added that Turkish investors have created more than 4,300 jobs in Bulgaria and that another similar forum will be organized on February 16.

Minister Poulev thanked the Turkish investors who are actively working in Bulgaria.