TEHRAN (Iran News) – Tourism, Transportation Can Boost Cooperation Between Tehran and Sofia. Bulgarian Ambassador to Tehran Ms. Nikolina Kuneva believes tourism and transportation can pave the ground for boosting cooperation between Iran and Bulgaria.
Kuneva met Chairman of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Mr. Gholam-Hossein Shafei and during the meeting both sides explored ways for boosting cooperation between the two states.
Kuneva went on to say that Tehran and Sofia have good relations and Bulgaria’s Embassy in Tehran tries to provide the grounds for boosting the bilateral ties more than eve, and it also tries the talks between the two countries not to be halted.
She went on to say that in 2019, the trade volume between Iran and Bulgaria was $80m and the figure rose to $120m in 2020 and of course, this amount should increase more.
Kuneva noted that before the outbreak of the COVID-19, annually between 10,000 to 20,000 Iranian tourists visited Bulgaria and even now Iranian tourists who are vaccinated can travel to Bulgaria.
She also referred to the cooperation in the field of transportation which has been always active, and emphasized Bulgaria welcomes the launch of the direct flight between Tehran and Sofia.
Meanwhile Shafei, for his part, referred to the current relation between Iran and Bulgaria and said the relation is in a good level so that economic cooperation between provinces of the two countries has been shaped. He stated of course the trade volume between Tehran and Sofia has decreased during the sanctions era comparing to the pre-sanctions but the relation has still continued.
He then pointed to the features and position of Bulgaria’s economy and said Bulgaria has a free economy and it has helped the country to enjoy good growth, adding that the major trade between Iran and Bulgaria has been in the field of transportation, and by the way, Bulgaria has a good tourist attraction for Iranians.
Shafei emphasized that tourism is a good ground for economic cooperation and the problems in this field should be resolved, adding that these two countries due to their good capacities can also be good trade partners.
He went on to say that geographically, Bulgarian can be a gateway for Iran’s presence in the Eastern European countries and the Balkan states as the markets in Bulgaria’s surrounding are important markets.
Shafei went on to say that Iran and Bulgaria had already had cooperation in the fields of auto industry and auto part manufacturing and this opportunity still exists. He said that Bulgaria has good opportunity for cooperation for Iranians in the field of food industries and agriculture, and by the way, Iran is challenging with constant droughts and using modern irrigation system is very vital for Iran.
He expressed hope that in the future the trade volume between Iran and Bulgaria would rise to a considerable amount.
Then head of the international affairs of ICCIMA Mr. Mohammad Reza Karbasi, for his part, said that since the U.S. pullout from the JCPOA, Bulgaria has been the only country which has held its joint economic commission meeting with Iran in the ministerial level.
He added in the meeting , some good agreements were reached and nine documents on cooperation were signed and launching the direct flight between Tehran and Sofia was one of the agreements.
At the end of the meeting, Kuneva called for the meeting of the heads of the chambers of commerce of Iran and Bulgaria in the near future in order to explore technically ways of boosting economic cooperation between the two countries.