Minister Dimitrov Participated in the International Business and Investment Forum 'Bulgaria: Investment Destination' in Istanbul

26 January 2023

Minister of Tourism Dr. Ilin Dimitrov participated in the International Business and Investment Forum ‘Bulgaria: Investment Destination’ in Istanbul. The forum, which is organized by the Bulgarian Investment Agency (BIA) at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, is attended by the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev and the Minister of Health Dr. Asen Medjidiev, and from the Turkish side — the Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Dr. Çetin Ali Dönmez.

The conference includes two thematic panels dedicated to promising areas of cooperation between the two countries — automotive and spa and medical tourism. In his speech during the opening ceremony, Minister Dimitrov stressed that Bulgaria and Turkey are developing extremely fruitful relations in tourism, one of the most important sectors of our economy.

The Minister announced the forthcoming 4th session of the Bulgarian-Turkish Joint Tourism Committee between the two line ministries within the framework of the EMITT exhibition /8—11 February/ in Istanbul.

‘This is an excellent opportunity to build on what we have achieved so far. Turkey has consistently been in the top three of our country's tourism in recent years. These statistics clearly show that the market has very serious dynamics, but it is important to take into account that there is still serious potential for development,’ said Minister Dimitrov.

Minister Dimitrov announced that in February a Bulgarian Tourist Representative Office in Istanbul is expected to open. This is clear evidence of our targeted policy in this market, the Minister said. We can cooperate with Turkey in a very diverse number of areas of tourism and it is important to support even more active contacts between businesses, Minister Dimitrov said further.

In this regard, one of the solutions to attract more tourists to our country is the development of transport connectivity — and Istanbul is the best logistical point for our country in this aspect. ‘Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Angel Cholakov, who is a great friend of Bulgarian tourism, for his personal dedication and efforts to promote Bulgaria as a tourist destination on the Turkish market,’ the Minister added and gave as an example of the fruitful actions of our diplomatic team the upcoming opening of a direct flight connection between Istanbul and Plovdiv.

‘Another great news is the construction of a new BTA office in Ankara, which will certainly contribute to working in a more fruitful information environment. At the same time, it will play an important role in establishing new cultural ties between our two friendly nations,’ Minister Dimitrov said in his exposition.

The conference is organized by the Bulgarian Investment Agency in cooperation with our diplomatic missions in the country. The Forum is distinguished by an extremely high interest from the business community. Many mayors of Bulgarian municipalities, investors, representatives of the media and educational institutions, etc. participated in it. The participants, more than 200 in number from the automotive, engineering, healthcare and tourism sectors, were welcomed by our Ambassador in Ankara, H. E. Angel Cholakov.

During the event, the Bulgarian Minister had the opportunity to hold an informal conversation with Çetin Ali Dönmez, Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Turkey, in which the two discussed the integration between tourism and other business sectors and the prospects for our bilateral relations in this context.

Minister Dimitrov also held talks with representatives of the tourism business in Turkey, with whom he discussed the possibilities of providing state support for the establishment and expansion of their activities in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian exports to Turkey are increasing by over 32% in 2022 and trade is growing. Direct Turkish investment in Bulgaria exceeds EUR 1 billion, almost half of which have received some form of state support through BIA. This was announced by the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev, who opened the business forum. In his words, over 2,200 Turkish companies have chosen Bulgaria as a preferred place to do business, they are also one of the largest employers in the country.

We remind that a month ago a historic agreement was signed after the summit between the two presidents Rumen Radev and Recep Erdogan.

During the forum, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Turkey, Dr Çetin Ali Dönmez, pointed out that the two countries have very good neighbourly and partnership relations in NATO. In his words, Bulgaria and Turkey are an example of good cooperation both economically and politically. He stressed that a new airline line and new border crossings are being opened, which will facilitate connectivity between the neighbouring countries.

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