BULGARIAN AND ARMENIAN BANKS TO WORK TOGETHER
The expensive and insecure transport is the most serious problem for the development of the Bulgarian-Armenian business relations, Bozhidar Danev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, said at the end of the Bulgarian-American business forum held on September 8. According to Mr. Danev, the transition of the whole commodity turnover between the two countries through Georgia burdens their trade. The international price per transporting a ton per kilometer is USD14, while Georgian hauliers are said to have asked about USD80 per ton.The official trade exchange between Armenia and Bulgaria for the first three months of the current year amounts to USD4.5MN. According to Mr. Danev, however, it is twice higher, because that figure does not include the oil that Bulgaria exports to Armenia. Initially, the fuel passes through Georgia and then in the Bulgarian statistics it is registered as export. It costs up to EUR25MN per year.Apart from the commodities, payments between the two countries pass through third countries, too. However, this problem is about to be solved, as representatives of the Bulgarian and the Armenian chambers of commerce and industry discussed the possibilities for accepting letters of credit directly by their banks.The two sides also negotiated delivery of Bulgarian equipment to Armenian companies on leasing terms. Mr. Danev said that agreements for export of glass bottles for soft drinks and beer were reached. This is a brand new production for Bulgaria as well.The business forum was also marked by the signing of two agreements for cooperation between the Bulgarian Industrial Association and the Union of Armenian Employers, as well as between the commercial and industrial chambers of the two countries. Seven Armenian and 15 Bulgarian companies from various branches of the economy took part in the forum. Four banks were among the representatives of Armenia, too.