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Turkish President in Bulgaria to boost political, economic ties


  • VENTURE INVESTMENT FUND OF €1 BN TO BE ESTABLISHED

     
    The Government is discussing the possibility of establishing a €1 bn fund for venture
    “The Government is discussing the possibility of establishing a €1 bn fund for venture and loan financing of businesses at preferential terms,” Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Evgeni Angelov announced at the Bulgarian-Turkish business forum accompanying the official visit to Sofia of Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul. “Some €340 mln of these funds should come from Operational Programme Competitiveness, €60 mln - from the budget and the remaining money will be provided by the private sector. We are currently clarifying our idea for transferring an additional €200 mln from OP Competitiveness, to be extended as preferential loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises,” specified Angelov.“ According to a recent study of Eurochambers Economic Survey for 2011, Bulgaria ranks fifth in Europe in terms of its business climate, a positive attitude expressed by 53.4% of the respondents, compared to the 33.7% average for the continent,” added Angelov.
    “Bi-lateral trade exchange between Bulgaria and Turkey has the potential to reach $10 bn,” said Yalcin Egemen, Chairman of the Turkish-Bulgarian Business Council. According to him, the goal is for Turkey’s exports to reach $500 bn in 2023. Trade turnover between the two countries is expected at $4 bn this year, Egemen said.
    Turkish business circles again asked for the State’s assistance for easing the visa regime. According to Yalcin Egemen, if visas for Turkish citizens are eliminated, Bulgarian winter resorts and cultural tourism sites would be visited by hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens and millions of Euros would enter Bulgaria’s economy.
    According to data of the Turkish-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, some 816,000 Bulgarians visited Turkey last year, while the number of Turkish citizens who visited our country was about 45,000.
     

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  • Turkish President in Bulgaria to boost political, economic ties

     
    Despite their sometimes complicated relations and their history that is tinged with controversy due to the 5-century Ottoman rule over Bulgaria, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul was welcomed with military honors in Sofia. 
    Boosting bilateral trade; Turkey's candidacy for the European Union; mistreatment of Muslims who are the largest minority group in Bulgaria. These were the issues which topped the agenda of Abdullah Gul's first Bulgarian visit as a President of Turkey. 
    Gul had visited Bulgaria back in 2003, but as a foreign minister of Turkey. Since he took the Presidential office in 2007, political ties with Bulgaria have been warming up, with President Parvanov visiting Turkey twice in the last 4 years. 
    At a Bulgarian-Turkish business forum, over 50 Turkish and 100 Bulgarian companies in different sectors such as construction, healthcare and agriculture declared that the mutual trade has the potential to reach even 10 billion dollars. 
    According to experts, this is possible only if the authorities provide the right business environment. 
    Presidents Parvanov and Gul said the project of greatest mutual significance is the EU-backed gas pipeline Nabucco which would make them main gateways for Europe's diversification of energy supplies. They declared that through their good relations with countries from Central Asia and the Middle East, they would be able to provide even more gas reserves than the planned 31 billion cubic meters per year. 
    But in order for this to happen, they called for stability in these regions. 
    President Gul also met with Bulgaria's Grand Mufti - Mustafa Alish Haji. He assured him that the one million Muslims in Bulgaria - 750 000 of whom are of Turkish background - can rely on Turkey in their struggle for prosperity and equality, and not only in Bulgaria but in the EU. 

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