BULGARIA'S TURNOVER WITH TURKEY REACHED USD1.8BN
Trade turnover between Bulgaria and Turkey reached USD1.8BN in 2004, up 40.6% from 2003. The data was presented at the Bulgarian-Turkish business forum, which started in Sofia on Tuesday (April 12).The event was opened by the Bulgarian Economy Minister Milko Kovachev and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen. The guest expressed his hope that bilateral commercial exchange will go up to USD3BN in 2006.Turkey is one of Bulgaria's major trade partners. Bulgaria imported Turkish goods worth USD890,985 in 2004, up 43.32% from the previous year. And Bulgaria's exports to our neighbour country reached USD952,507, which is 38.15% up year-on-year. The main Turkish commodities that came into Bulgaria in 2004 were textile fibres and products worth USD156MN, machinery and equipment worth USD77MN, iron, steel and non-ferrous metals. The Bulgarian goods most preferred by Turkey are the non-ferrous metals (worth USD198MN), iron and steel (worth USD 138MN), as well as iron ores, oil-bearing crops, and non-organic chemical products. Turkey is the 15th biggest foreign investor in this country, with investments of USD130MN. The company that was granted a first-class investor certificate - Sisecam - also comes from our southern neighbour. It intends to build a flat glass mill in Targovishte. This investment is pre-estimated at USD160MN. Currently, Prista Oil is the only firm which has made investments in Turkey. The Rousse-based company constructed a lubricants plant in Izmit in 2002, worth USD6MN.The number of Turkish firms, registered in Bulgaria is 2,500, while Bulgarian companies in Turkey are 88. It is interesting that 48 of them were set up within 13 years, and the other 40 - within the last year and a half. Mr. Kovachev underlined several major guidelines for the development of bilateral relations. Among them are the establishment of joint ventures, the participation of Turkish firms in large-scale infrastructural and building projects, cooperation in leisure industry. The Turkish Minister of Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen appealed to both countries' governments to continue the successful establishment of mutual trust. The forum gathered representatives of over 120 Turkish companies, operating in the food, glass, textile and garment, construction, machine-building, chemical and other industries. Their Bulgarian counterparts from about 150 firms attended the event.