ICCIMA president, Bulgarian amb discuss boosting economic ties

President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) says Iran and Bulgaria could strengthen their cooperation in automobile parts manufacturing, tourism, food industries and agriculture.

27 May 2021
ID : 32893
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President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) says Iran and Bulgaria could strengthen their cooperation in automobile parts manufacturing, tourism, food industries and agriculture.

“The two countries have previously cooperated in automobile industry and automobile parts manufacturing, but there is still an opportunity for increasing cooperation,” Gholam Hossein Shafei said in a meeting with ambassador of Bulgaria to Iran Nikolina Kuneva.

Describing tourism as “a good ground for economic cooperation” Shafei asked for removal of obstacles on the way for boosting tourism ties between Iran and Bulgaria.

There are also proper potentials for joint cooperation between the two countries in food and industries and agriculture, ICCIMA president said.

Shafei further said that despite the fact that US sanctions against Iran have resulted in reduction of trade volume between Iran and Bulgaria, the two countries have never cut their trade relations.

“In terms of geographical location, Bulgaria could be Iran's gateway to eastern Europe and Balkan region,” president of the ICCIMA, which is the main private sector advocacy group in Iran, added.

Shafei mentioned the talks on reviving the JCPOA in Vienna and expressed hope that trade restrictions would be eased in the near future. "We support any opportunity to strengthen cooperation between Iran and Bulgaria," he said.

Ambassador Nikolina Kuneva stressed that Tehran and Sofia have good relations and that the Bulgarian embassy in Tehran is trying to facilitate cooperation between the two countries' businessmen.

“We try to facilitate dialogue between the two sides”, she said.

According to the data provided by the Bulgarian ambassador at the meeting the volume of trade between the two countries was at $80 million in 2019. Bilateral trade, however, increased to $120 million in 2020 despite US sanctions.

“Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, about 10,000-20,000 Iranian tourists traveled to Bulgaria annually, and now Iranian tourists who have been vaccinated against coronary heart disease can travel to this country,” Kuneva said.

The Bulgarian ambassador noted the two countries' cooperation in the field of transport, which has always been active adding that Bulgaria welcomes direct flights from Tehran to Sofia.

The Bulgarian ambassador suggested that the heads of the Iranian and Bulgarian chambers of commerce meet in the future to closely discuss bilateral economic relations between the two countries’ private sectors.

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