Inaugural Session of the Pakistan-Bulgaria Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation

Inaugural session of Pak-Bulgaria Intergovernmental Commission was held on 22-23 June, 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Pakistani delegation was led by Mr. Omar Hamid Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs Division while the Bulgarian delegation was led by Mr. Lyuben Petrov, Deputy Minister of Economy.

The session was significant in that it coincided with celebrations of 50 years of Pak-Bulgaria diplomatic relations. Both sides expressed their confidence that the regular sessions of the IGC would prove to be an important milestone for the enhancement of the bilateral economic relations and will provide the required momentum to enlarge the scope of cooperation between the two countries.

SIGNIFICANCE OF 50 YEARS OF PAK-BULGARIA DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

On 22nd June, 2015, the first day of the Inaugural session of IGC, on the occasion of 50th Anniversary of Pak-Bulgaria relations an illustrated Postcard was launched as a symbol of friendship and diplomacy; to unite the people, despite thousands of kilometers dividing both nations. The ceremony was held at the Museum of Communications in Sofia and was well attended. The ceremony was reflective of the importance that Bulgarian Government attends to its relations with Pakistan.

MOUs / AGREEMENT AND POTENTIAL AREAS FOR FUTURE ECONOMIC COOPERATION (23-June-2015)

Both friendly countries emphasized on great importance they attach to the development of bilateral partnership and cooperation in all spheres of mutual interest, including trade, energy, industry (including defence) and investments, SMEs, agriculture, information technology and communications, transport, tourism, culture, media, etc. During the inaugural session of IGC, following Cooperation Memorandums of Understanding / Agreement were signed:

i.          Memorandum of Understanding between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMPA), Republic of Bulgaria.

ii.         Cooperation Agreement between the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

iii.         Memorandum of Cooperation between the University of Agriculture of Faisalabad and the Agricultural University of Plovdiv.

BUSINESS FORUM

In order to explore possibilities for joint projects and with the purpose of establishing direct contacts between enterprises from Pakistan and Bulgaria, a meeting of Joint Business Forum was held on the sidelines of the IGC. The event was organized by the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency in which businessmen from both countries participated and deliberated upon various measures to boost up bilateral trade. During the meeting, Pakistan’s Co-chair for the IGC informed that Government of Pakistan is determined to evolve a regional and product specific marketing strategy with an ultimate aim of export diversification and market broadening. The Co-chair inter-alia stated that Bulgaria, due to its promising trade potential and strategic location, can be natural ally of Pakistan towards realizing that goal to the ultimate benefit of both countries.