Bulgaria and Macedonia sign economic co-operation agreement
Mon 15 Dec 2008 - Petar Kostadinov
Bulgaria and Macedonia signed an economic cooperation agreement on December 15 2008, Bulgarian news agency Focus said. The agreement was signed in Skopje by Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov and his Macedonian counterpart Fatmir Besimi.
The treaty was part of the agenda of the two-day state visit to Macedonia of Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev on the occasion of 100 years of Bulgarian independence and the 15th anniversary from establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Bulgarian delegation arrived in Macedonia on December 14 2008. So far, Stanishev and his host, Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski, have attended the inauguration of an electricity power line connecting Macedonia to Bulgaria, worth 50 million euro and part of an European power line linking Italy, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
The project was started in 2006 with financing secured mostly from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Bulgaria is among the leading foreign investors in Macedonia, Bulgaria’s Government press office said. Bulgarian investment in Macedonia was mainly in sectors such as banking, insurance, food industry, telecommunications, tourism and metallurgy. In total, Bulgarian investments in 2007 totalled $33.6 million, a six-fold increase over 2006.
In 2007, bilateral trade was $762 million, which was a 51.5 per cent increase compared to 2006, when it was $475.7 million. By the end of August 2008, the bilateral trade was $674.6 million.