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Trade in agricultural and food products between Bulgaria and China increased by over 37% in 2023. This was stated by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Georgi Tahov, at the official opening of the Bulgarian-Chinese Business Forum, which is being held in Sofia. He added that the export of Bulgarian goods to the Chinese market has doubled on an annual basis in 2023 compared to 2022. According to him, the leading agricultural products in Bulgarian exports to the Chinese market in 2023 and the first quarter of 2024 are corn and sunflower kernels. In 2023, the country has a positive trade balance, which amounts to 395 million USD, with 52 million USD for 2022.

"In recent years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, together with the General Customs Administration of the People's Republic of China, have been working intensively to complete the procedures for fulfilling the requirements for the import into China of a number of Bulgarian agricultural and food products," informs Minister Tahov.  He also noted that 34 procedures have been initiated, 11 of which have already been completed with the signing of the relevant protocols and bilateral approval of the certificates. "The completion of the remaining procedures will create conditions for a significant increase in the volume and types of Bulgarian agricultural and food products exported to China," the minister also pointed out.

He pointed out that Bulgaria successfully cooperates with China within the framework of the multilateral format, including in the field of agriculture and food. Minister Takhov emphasized that since the official launch of its activities on June 26, 2015 in Sofia, the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and CEE Countries (APACCEEC), which is the organizer of the current business forum, has proven itself as an important tool to promote cooperation in agriculture and food and to promote trade in agricultural and food products in this format.

Of great importance are the Association's two strategic projects, approved by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria and successfully implemented in the CEE countries and in China, for the creation and development of 16+1 Demonstration Zones for cooperation in the field of agriculture and 16+1 Logistics centers and Pavilions for e-commerce of agricultural and other products. To date, two "16+1 Demonstration Zones for Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture" have been created in the Plovdiv region - in the Parvomai region, operated and managed by the Chinese company "Tianjin Farm Cultivation Group Companies Bulgaria" EOOD and in the Agrarian University - Plovdiv, managed by the Association.

For his part, the executive director of the APACCEEC, Dr. Momchil Stanishev, stated that seven Chinese companies from different sectors are participating in the forum, one of which can help any Bulgarian business to position its product in Shanghai. "Bilateral business meetings between interested parties are coming up. There is serious participation from relevant Bulgarian companies and interest in today's forum. We hope that this is just the beginning of our relations with Shanghai," said Dr. Stanishev.

The sectors companies represent at the forum are customs and food import-export, smart food markets, automotive, artificial intelligence and unmanned heavy-duty vehicles, smart lighting, construction and trade shows.

During the event, a Cooperation Agreement was also signed between the CNSCCCIE and the International Chamber of Commerce of the city of  Shanghai.

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