Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce CEO Ivanova: Growing Number of Romanian Companies Seek Customers in Bulgaria

NW 11:02:01 08-02-2022

Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce CEO Ivanova:
Growing Number of Romanian Companies
Seek Customers in Bulgaria

Ruse, on the Danube, February 8 (BTA) - The business relations between Bulgaria and Romania are developing despite the pandemic. Bulgarian companies' traditionally bigger interest in Romania remained stable, while an increasing number of inquiries are being submitted in recent months by Romanian companies seeking customers in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRCCI) CEO, Eleonora Ivanova, told BTA in an interview.

The Bulgarian side is looking for partners in traditional sectors, such as food and cosmetics, while there is growing interest in machine-building, Ivanova said. The BRCCI is receiving a growing number of inquiries by both sides about different raw materials, which is obviously normal given the crisis, which has lead to shortages and price hikes, she said. Software companies from both countries are seeking customers by offering specialized products in different sectors, such as agribusiness, the industrial sector, among others, Ivanova went on to explain.

Romania is one of Bulgaria's biggest trade partners

The BRCCI head said that, according to national statistics, Bulgaria's trade balance with Romania was positive between January and October of 2021 and amounted to 1.017 billion leva. The trade balance was only 516.7 million leva during the same period a year earlier. Preliminary estimates show that a record-high trade turnover is expected, which will surpass 2019, when the turnover was highest at 9.784 billion leva. Exports of Bulgarian goods to Romania has increased by 35.2 per cent, while imports have gone up by 26.2 per cent. Romania remains Bulgaria's second-biggest trade partner after Germany, Ivanova explained.

Transport connectivity problems between Bulgaria and Romania

Ivanova explained that one of the BRCCI's priorities, on which the Chamber has been working since its establishment, is transport connectivity. "At the beginning, when we established the Chamber, connectivity between the two countries was not on the agenda at all," she said. This issue has not only not been addressed throughout the years, but has become even more serious. She recalled that there are two bridges connecting the two countries, while trade has increased 17-fold, while tourist exchange has also gone up significantly. This has all lead to clogged up border checkpoints, while the COVID-19 measures have further aggravated the problem. "We heard the new Government's plans for [building] bridges and [improving] connectivity, but the reality and the possibilities are very different," she explained.

According to Ivanova, the Danube has a huge untapped potential. "We are working very actively on projects with partner organizations from countries along the Danube and we are striving to attract attention to the river and the opportunities it so generously offers, as long as they are appreciated and developed," she said.

The BRCCI was established in 2003 and its membership base approaches 90 companies, which come from almost all economic sectors. A vocational training centre was created under the Chamber, which offers Romanian language classes. RY/MY