Macedonian, Bulgarian Presidents urge their countries to advance overall cooperation

Macedonia and Bulgaria should work on advancing the business cooperation and communication at all levels, the Presidents of both countries, Gjorge Ivanov and Rumen Radev respectively, said Saturday at a gathering of  presidents of economic chambers and representatives of companies.

‘We have been already enjoying a political confidence at the highest level, which is a precondition for all other future successes. Security and good-neighborly relations are needed for efficient and effective business,’ Radev said.

It is very important, he said, for Macedonia to soon join NATO as foreign investments require security.

‘There is already an opportunity Macedonia to get membership invitation in the course of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency. To convince our partners to extend the invitation we must show that Bulgaria and Macedonia can work together,’ Radev said, notifying that  the bilateral friendship treaty should be realized in practice.

The cooperation in the spheres of education, science, culture and tourism is rather significant, Radev said, notifying Bulgaria’s readiness to share its experience with EU IPA funds absorption with Macedonia.

In addition, the two countries should work on bilateral projects to improve work and implement formalities at border crossings, Radev said. Addressing these key issues will contribute to speeding up the overall transport operations between the two countries, and thus hike the volume of bilateral commodity exchange, he added.

In the next period, besides the efforts to complete infrastructure and energy connectivity projects, the governments of both countries need to focus on digital transformation and catch up with global trends, as well as respond to the needs of new generations in the business, Ivanov said.

‘In this field, Macedonia expects for Bulgaria’s support. Bulgaria has seen significant results in the field of digitalization and IT technologies in recent years. On the other hand, Macedonia has great potential in this field, which creates excellent conditions for partnership between the two countries to open new perspectives,’ he added.

Macedonia’s Economic Chamber President Branko Azeski, highlighted the excellent cooperation with the Trade and Industry Chamber of Bulgaria, which in 1994 jointly initiated the creation of the Association of Balkan Chambers.

The total Macedonia-Bulgaria trade in 2017 was at US $ 665 million –  an increase of 19.13% compared to 2016, which is a significant progress, Azaeski said.