The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Abkhazia, Tamila Mertskhulava, paid a four-day working visit to the Republic of Bulgaria. Tamila Mertskhulava was accompanied by the head of the Department for External Relations and Investments of the CCI of RA Kama Tsvizhba. The purpose of the visit was to establish contacts and expand trade and economic relations between the business communities of both countries.
А meeting was held between Tamila Mertskhulava and the President of the CCI of the city of Varna, Mr. Ivan Tabakov. Entrepreneurs representing different spheres of business took part in the meeting, including members of the board of the CCI of Varna, managing director of the logistics company «Interlogistica», representative of the Society of Bulgarian Lawyers LLC YGR, the head of «Orenda-Plast», a company that manufactures plastic products in large volumes, etc. The meeting was also attended by the Secretary General of the International Black Sea Club Mikhail Kulikov.
Representatives of the CCI RA presented a film about the Republic of Abkhazia with its economic, investment and tourist potential. The members of the meeting asked Tamila Mirtskhulava about logistics, insurance, Abkhaz legislation, in particular the law on investment activities. Bulgarian colleagues were also interested in tax preferences for investors and the possibility of supplying products of joint Bulgarian-Abkhazian enterprises to the Russian market.
As a result of the meeting, both sides noted the importance of the first stage of development of bilateral trade and economic relations. Within the framework of its competence and in accordance with its role in the economic life of the republics, the participants agreed to develop cooperation and more effectively assist enterprises, organizations and firms of their countries in matters of foreign economic activity.
19 June, the delegation of the CCI visited the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. Tamila Mirtskhulava signed the Cooperation Agreement with the Secretary General of the Union for the private economic enterprise of Bulgaria, Violina Nakova.
The meeting was also attended by the senior adviser of the Union for the private economic enterprise Radoslav Gospodinov.
After the signing of the Agreement, Tamila Mertskhulava informed the participants of the meeting on the current trade turnover between Bulgaria and Abkhazia in the amount of more than 130 million rubles in 2017 and more than 13 million rubles in the first quarter of 2018. The imported goods include tobacco and tobacco raw materials, hydropower equipment, modified starches, paper and cardboard products, textile products, base metals and much more.
"The interest of Abkhazian enterprises in establishing contacts and signing contracts with tobacco factories in Bulgaria is growing every year as well as for establishing technological cooperation," Tamila Mertskhulava stressed.
- If the agro-industrial sector is very well developed in Bulgaria, Abkhazia is still on the way of becoming and development. In order to exchange experience between business circles of our republics, we propose to think over the issue of creating a joint venture to process exotic fruits and vegetables for the Bulgarian market, such as feijoa, persimmons, citrus fruits through the Russian market to Bulgaria, "Tamila Mertskhulava stressed.
Tamila Mertskhulava told about the recent recognition of the Republic of Abkhazia by the Syrian Arab Republic. The businessmen suggested Abkhazia to act as a mediator in establishing contacts between Bulgaria and Syria, in particular in the construction business. Representatives of the Union were very interested in this information and called such a proposal of the CCI to be very attractive for the economic community.
According to Violina Nakova, the chief secretary of the Union for a Private Economic Enterprise of Bulgaria, European programs help the country implement numerous projects aimed at developing the business community. Taking into account the wishes and interests of the Abkhaz entrepreneurs, a corresponding program and commercial proposals will be developed for them in the near future.
The Executive Director of the Union, Alexei Petrov promised to assist in organizing a meeting with representatives of the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Agriculture and Culture to discuss a program for exchanging specialists in these sectors and setting up joint ventures with access to the European market.
"We believe that the signing of a bilateral agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Union for the Private Economic Enterprise of Bulgaria will have a positive impact on the development of cooperation between entrepreneurs of both sides," Tamila Mertskhulava stated.
The Union was founded in 1989 by Bulgarian entrepreneurs, with the aim of encouraging the entrepreneurial initiative and representing the collective interests of employers in the labor market and production relations. Since 2007, the organization is a member of the European Trade Organization, uniting 4000 enterprises, more than 160,000 employees, has regional offices.
20 June, the Union of the Private Economic Enterprise of Bulgaria organized a meeting of the delegation of the CCI of RA with interested businessmen of the firm "Biozon", part of the "Lev Corporation" corporation established in 1997. At the meeting with representatives of the CCI of RA, the idea of creating a joint agricultural enterprise on the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia was discussed. In particular, Bulgarian entrepreneurs proposed to consider the possibility of building a plant for the production of waffles.
The delegation of the CCI of RA visited the winery "Villa Terres" - a complex of wine and spa tourism, located in the southern part of the village of Karabunar. This area is famous for its rich cultural and historical heritage. The location for the Villa Terres was chosen specifically because of the climate and topography of the area. It is one of the traditional wine-growing regions of Bulgaria where high-quality wines are produced.
21 June, in the building of the Trade Mission of the Russian Federation in Bulgaria, a meeting of the President of the CCI of RA with the sales representative Igor Ilingin was held.
Both sides discussed the possibility of exchanging the experience of Bulgarian colleagues in tourism as Bulgaria is the second largest in the world by the availability of medical resorts on its territory.
Igor Ilingin noted that the duty-free trade between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia is of great interest to Bulgaria and it is possible to consider the supply of Bulgarian equipment for the food industry to interested Abkhaz entrepreneurs, since Bulgarian entrepreneurs are in favor of normal market criteria on the terms of a tender.
- All our meetings were held in a constructive and businesslike atmosphere. We are glad that every year the number of foreign organizations ready to cooperate with the CCI of RA. Interest for our country is growing. Therefore, we will continue to promote Abkhazia in the international arena, by virtue of our capabilities, "summed up Tamila Mertskhulava.