Members of the Qatari Businessmen’s Association with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.
DOHA: Members of the Qatari Businessmen’s Association (QBA) expressed their desire to explore investment opportunities available in Bulgaria during their meeting with the visiting President of the European country Rosen Plevneliev recently.
QBA members said that they are interested in establishing various projects in different sectors of the Bulgarian economy, especially in the banking, tourism and real estate sectors.
The meeting, held on March 11 at the QBA headquarters, was attended by Hussain Al Fardan, QBA’s first deputy chairman, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani, QBA board member, and QBA members Nasser Suliman Al Haidar, Salah Al Jaidah, Maqbool Habeeb Khalfan and Saud Al Mana vice chairman and CEO of Al Mana Group and Sarah Abdallah QBA Deputy General Manager.
The Qatari side welcomed the visit of Plevneliev and his accompanying delegation, which aimed at discussing possible ways of cooperation and enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.
Plevneliev said that his country is looking forward to cooperate with Qatar in building mutually successful business partnerships, noting that the strategic location of Bulgaria in the Southeast of Europe, serve as a commercial gateway between eastern European countries and the Middle East.
The president also displayed to the Qatari businessmen some of the investment incentives that Bulgaria offers such as stable macroeconomic environment, low labour and operating costs, in addition to favourable tax environment. Bulgaria also enjoys a low debt rate of 16 percent of GDP, and the local economy is expected to grow by 3-4 percent by 2018.
He also noted that one of Bulgaria’s most important sectors for investment is the agriculture and food industry, in addition to the energy sector, where the country is seeking to diversify its economy by buying gas from Qatar, with the involvement of a group of European countries namely Greece, Romania, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
These projects aim at establishing a liquefied natural gas facility in Greece to facilitate the purchase of gas from Qatar and bring it to Bulgaria. In return Bulgaria can provide assistance to Qatar in solar energy, as it has been investing heavily in that field over the past three years.
Qatari- Bulgarian bilateral trade has amounted between QR30m and QR40m per year, and the Bulgarian economy largely depends on the service sector as it constitutes 63 percent of the total national income, followed by the industrial sector which amount to 30.3 percent while the agriculture sector constitutes 6.7 percent.
Plevneliev also added that the real estate and construction sector in Bulgaria is well developed and considered as one of the most attractive sectors to invest in.