For the first time ever, a Japanese Prime Minister visited Bulgaria. Shinzo Abe was accompanied by an impressive business delegation with representatives of more than 30 Japanese companies. During the visit, meetings and talks were held with business representatives from the two countries. Among the discussed topics were promoting the trade and economic cooperation, with an emphasis on increasing Bulgarian exports and attracting Japanese investments and technologies. Opportunities for cooperation in the sectors electronics, automotive industry, tourism, culture, and agriculture were discussed.
The President of BCCI Tsvetan Simeonov expressed his satisfaction with the fact that a serious delegation of multinational companies is visiting our country. He pointed out the Chamber’s excellent cooperation with the Embassy of Japan and with the Japanese institutions and companies represented in Bulgaria, engaged in the development of the economic cooperation.
During a press-conference in the Council of Minister, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that Bulgaria would put its whole will and assiduousness during the Bulgarian EU Presidency term to speed up to the maximum the process of concluding the negotiations on the economic deal between the European Union and Japan.
His Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe said that it is good to boost the economic relations between the two countries and announced that with the approval of the Bulgarian Prime Minister and after a meeting with the Japanese businessmen included in the official delegation, it was decided to set up a Japanese business forum on the example of the EU – Japan Business Roundtable and expressed hope that it would become an opportunity to facilitate the entry of Japanese companies into Bulgaria. A Joint Executive Committee for Cooperation in Culture, Science and Technologies will also be established.
Shinzo Abe said Japan favors a united Europe, and he hailed the efforts of Bulgaria, which just took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, for European integration of the Western Balkans. He said that Japan is focusing on stability in the Western Balkans and added that with the present visit an initiative is being launched for cooperation with the Western Balkans, expressing hope that thanks to the cooperation with Bulgaria, Japan will maintain contacts with the entire region.
BCCI maintains excellent relations with its Japanese partners. It signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce back in 1955. Since 1987 it has been partnering with the employers’ organization KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation). Through the Bulgarian – Japanese Economic Council at the Chamber and with the assistance of the Japanese institutions, a large number of Bulgarian employers have taken trainings in Japanese companies, learning from the Japanese experience in management and quality.
On 24 January 2011 during the visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov to Japan, the President of BCCI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association.