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Bulgaria Seeks to Lure China with Port Concessions
Date: 27/10/2010
Bulgaria Seeks to Lure China with Port Concessions

Bulgaria's Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov has been welcoming in Beijing by his Chinese counterpart Li Shenglin.

The Bulgarian delegation led by Tsvetkov has presented to the People's Republic of China investment opportunities in the field of transport and infrastructure.

Bulgaria and China are considering setting up a joint venture for sea port infrastructure as well as offering concessions of Bulgarian sea and river ports to Chinese companies.

"China is a first-rate partner of Bulgaria. Bulgaria is in the position to offer maximum good conditions to port operators. We believe that the Bulgarian ports can be attractive enough to compete with the routes of Central and Eastern Asia," Tsvetkov told Li Shenglin, as cited by the press service of the Transport Ministry.

Tsvetkov is also scheduled to meet with the management of China National Machinery Industry Complete Engineering Corporation, a leading infrastructure company interested in investing in Bulgaria.

The visit of the Bulgarian government delegation in China comes in the wake of several months of intensive contacts between the Bulgarian government and Chinese central and provincial authorities as well as companies on various potential joint projects such as the Bozhurishte Industrial Zone near Sofia.

Bulgaria's Economy Minister Traicho Traikov has stated several times that China was interest in receiving concessions over Bulgarian airport and ports in order to use them as a base for its exports to the EU and wider Europe.

Initial reports of the Transport Ministry said that the Bulgarian delegation and China will consider options for long-term cooperation between the Freight Directorate of the Bulgarian state railway company BDZ and Chinese railway operators in the context of China's project to launch a railway connection to Central and Western Europe through Central Asia, Turkey, and Bulgaria, the so called China-Europe high-speed rail link.

However, after Tsvetkov's meeting with Li Shenglin, the Ministry made no mention of railway of any talks on railway cooperation.

Topic: Business

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