IMPORT GROWS ALMOST TWO TIMES FASTER THAN EXPORT
In the first three quarters of 2001 Bulgaria's export rose 7.6 per cent, and import - 13.5 per cent, as compared to the same period of last year, preliminary data of the National Statistics Institute (NSI) show. The country's foreign trade balance remained negative with a deficit of USD1.1BN. In each of the year's first nine months import was higher than export, and the highest monthly trade deficit of USD204.8MN was reported in July. In August and September, however, the foreign trade deficit went down considerably - by USD102MN and USD100MN, respectively. If this trend persists in Bulgaria's balance of payments, we could expect better levels by the year-end.The country's foreign trade turnover reached USD9.1BN in January-September, 2001, export accounting for USD1.3BN, and import - for USD4.9MN.The European Union (EU) member countries remained Bulgaria's main commercial partners in 2001, with 55.4% of exports directed to them and 48.7% of the imports coming from the 15 EU-members. However, Bulgaria's foreign trade balance with these countries still shows a deficit. In the first nine months of 2001 imports from them rose 23.3 per cent, and exports grew 12.7 per cent, as compared to the same period of last year. The country reported a trade surplus in its commercial exchange with Turkey, Italy, the USA, Belgium, and Spain. Bulgaria's exports to each one of these countries exceed imports by more than USD50MN.Bulgaria's export list already includes mainly processed and ready products, mineral fuels, chemicals, machines, and equipment. The quantity of exported raw non-foods gradually goes down, which is a positive indication for the development of our economy, Emilia Danailova, Head of the Export and Import department at the NSI commented.