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Sofia Investment Agency and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria Sign a Memorandum to Support SMEs


Image source: Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria

On March 27, 2019, Sofia Investment Agency and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria signed an agreement to support and develop bilateral trade and economic relations. In the presence of Mr. Francesco Calderoli, Deputy Ambassador of Italy in Bulgaria, Mr. Vladimir Danailov, CEO of the Agency, and Mr. Marco Montecchi, President of the Chamber, the two parties agreed on the exchange of information, projects and support for small and medium-sized enterprises on the territory of Sofia and Italy.

The measures set out in the agreement include the exchange of experience in organizing and managing of company service activities, participation in joint forums and trade fairs, exchange of good practices and experience with structural funds, as well as information on European programs and tenders on direct management of the European Commission or its agencies, mainly in the field of scientific research and development of innovation in SMEs.

Signing this document between the Chamber and the Agency is of utmost importance to us when taking in consideration the existing ties between the two countries, Mr. Calderoli said.

We have many things in common in our work, and our business plans include the presentation of Sofia and its business in Italian cities this year, as well as the publication of the “Business Guide”, which Sofia Investment Agency publishes with up-to-date data, in Italian, Mr. Marco Montecchi said.

The interest of the Italian business in Bulgaria and Sofia in particular is steadily growing and our job is to help anyone willing to invest in Bulgaria, Mr. Vladimir Danailov stressed upon.

According to statistics, Bulgarian exports to Italy are + 9.5% (EUR 2.26 billion), while Italian imports in Bulgaria are + 11.6% (EUR 2.23 billion). Italy is the third importer in Bulgaria (following Germany and Russia) – 7.5% (EUR 2.24 billion) and Bulgaria’s second trading partner (after Germany) with an exchange of 12% (EUR 4.5 billion). The increase compared to 2017 is 10.5%.

Sectors with the highest import dynamics are: beverages and cigarettes, machinery, equipment, transport vehicles.

Italian investments in Bulgaria amount to EUR 58.3 million, while Bulgarian ones total EUR 26.7 million.

At present, a total of 2 667 people are registered in the Italian Embassy in Sofia as citizens living in Bulgaria. Among the main reasons for Italians to choose our country and develop business here are the tax breaks and skilled labor force.