Bulgaria and China are establishing relations of strategic partnership, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping said Wednesday at the start of the plenary talks in Beijing. President Xi Jinping noted that the two countries are in good relations.
"We marked 70 years of establishing diplomatic relations; now, once again they rise up to the level of a strategic partnership," he said, adding that Bulgaria and China should use this opportunity in the changing global situation and should develop their partnership. "A historic act stands before us," President Radev noted in connection with announcing a joint declaration between the Republic of Bulgaria and the People's Republic of China for establishing relations of strategic partnership.
Radev voiced his conviction that this will quickly turn into a beneficial foundation for building up what has already been achieved in the bilateral relations. Xi Jinping also said that in the past 70 years, the traditional partnership between the two countries has developed, for which, in his words, there is enough evidence.
The Chinese Head of State noted that his people remember Bulgaria's aid after the big earthquake in 2008 when it was among the first countries to offer accommodation to children from the affected regions, and when Bulgarian climber Boyan Petrov went missing, Chinese rescuers did everything to help. "This shows that the relations between our people are very good," Xi Jinping said. The Bulgarian-Chinese declaration for establishing strategic partnership relations aims for a solid and stable development of bilateral relations. According to the text, the two countries rate highly the positive results in bilateral economy and trade, with a unanimous view of strengthening practical cooperation in trade, investments, infrastructure, small and medium enterprises and online trade, among others.
Bulgaria and China wish to achieve the goals set in the signed interparliamentary Memorandum of understanding for a joint implementation of the One Belt, One Road initiative. By following the principles of extensive consultations, joint contribution and mutual benefit, the two countries will encourage practical cooperation in the various spheres with the aim of bringing high quality to the realization of the initiative. The countries will continue to upgrade the level of cooperation in the production and processing of agricultural produce, research, technologies and investments in agriculture and trade in agricultural products.
The document provides for expanding cooperation in the areas of culture and tourism and cooperation at the local level in order to enhance contacts and friendship between the two peoples. The two countries uphold the view that cooperation between Central and Eastern European countries and China creates an important platform for developing relations between Bulgaria and China, and is a useful complement to the comprehensive strategic partnership between the EU and China. Earlier in the day, the Bulgarian head of State Rumen Radev and his wife Dessislava Radeva were welcomed formally at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. In Beijing Radev also conferred with Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Also on Wednesday, President Rumen Radev invited Chinese business representatives to invest in Bulgaria. Radev, who is paying a state visit to China on July 1-5, addressed a Bulgarian-Chinese business forum at the Bulgarian Embassy in Beijing.
The President said: "Conditions for our business cooperation and partnership will constantly be improving. I suggest that you tap this wonderful opportunity and invest in Bulgaria." Radev listed three important conditions for successful business cooperation: top-level political support and good political relations between the two countries; a good business environment and low taxes; and conditions for fast and effective communication and contacts between businesses. The head of State pointed out Bulgaria's investment advantages, noting that his country is not only a member of the EU, whereby many advantages ensue, but also has the EU's lowest flat tax rate, the lowest operating costs, one of the highest GDP growth rates in Europe, a stable financial system, low inflation and declining debt.
Radev noted that Bulgaria provides skilled labour and the government is constantly making efforts to improve the business environment and reduce the administrative burden and red tape. The forum was attended by dozens of Chinese business representatives who exchanged contacts with Bulgarian companies in various sectors.