The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has welcomed in Sofia the leadership of the newly-founded Macedonian-Bulgarian Economic Chamber.
The Macedonian-Bulgarian Economic Chamber (MBEC) was set up on February 24, 2011, in Skopje, by 51 business founders.
On Tuesday, its chair Borislav Zahariev, CEO of Capital Bank in Macedonia, and Ljubomir Josifovski, director of the MBEC presented their program and priorities to the chair of the BCCI Tsvetan Simeonov.
Ivan Zherkov, commercial attaché in the Bulgarian Embassy to the Republic of Macedonia, who was one of the main initiators for the creation of the MBEC and is a member of its supervisory council, also attended the meeting in Sofia.
The Macedonian-Bulgarian Economic Chamber in Skopje intends to boost the business ties between the two countries as well as their positioning on the EU market.
Commercial attaché Zherkov has pointed out some serious deficiencies that need to be corrected in that respect – the lack of railway line between Macedonia and Bulgaria, the lack of a good road connection, the need to exchange more business news, and to have access to Bulgarian newspapers in Macedonia and Macedonian newspapers in Bulgaria.
The BCCI points out that Bulgaria is Macedonia's fourth largest trading partner, while Macedonia is Bulgaria's fourth largest trading partner outside the EU. In 2010, the bilateral trade amounted to USD 700 M.
According to Tsvetan Simeonov, BCCI chair, the establishing the Macedonian-Bulgarian Economic Chamber means "the opening of one more window for the business in Macedonia and Bulgaria." He underscored the fact that the MBEC was initiated by entrepreneurs, which means that they were ready to make such a step, and vowed the support of the BCCI.
Another matter of the talks of the business organizations in Sofia was the relations of the BCCI and the Macedonian Economic Chamber, a national organization based in Skopje. The delegations agreed on a program of bilateral visits.
Commercial attaché Zherkov reminded that in February 2011 the Interior Ministers of Bulgaria and Macedonia Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Gordana Jankuloska opened a joint contact center for police and customs cooperation at the Gyueshevo border crossing point.