Copyright: Michael Cooper Photography
In picture is Tomislav Donchev, the Bulgarian Minister for the Management of European Funds, with Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, and Neil Armstrong from CIGA in Ballymena, at the recent Bulgarian Business briefing held in Invest NI.
Northern Ireland companies have been urged to seize business opportunities resulting from investment by the Bulgarian government in infrastructure and its business base.
A briefing recently hosted by Invest NI on business in Bulgaria was given to local companies by Tomislav Donchev, the Bulgarian Minister responsible for the Management of EU Funds.
Mr Donchev was in Northern Ireland to promote relationships between business here and in Bulgaria in areas such as the management of EU funding projects to promote economic growth.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, commenting on the visit, said: “We hosted the visit by the Minister as part of our work to encourage companies here, particularly in construction and professional services, to explore opportunities in eastern European markets, including Bulgaria, which are developing from extensive EU funded investment to promote economic growth.
“Bulgaria is benefiting from EU-backed spending of £9 billion to bring its infrastructure, ICT, renewable energies, and transport up to European standards. Our companies have tremendous knowledge in these sectors and should be well-placed to develop worthwhile business partnerships with companies and authorities in Bulgaria.
“Northern Ireland companies have considerable knowledge of and experience in delivering EU funded projects across a very broad range of areas including construction and key services such as administrative reform and financial procedures.
“We’ve sought to facilitate such exchanges by organising trade missions to these developing markets. This October, for instance, we have scheduled a week-long mission to Bulgaria and Romania, both recent EU members. In May, there will be a mission to Poland and the Czech Republic and, in June, to Slovenia and Hungary. These missions are open to all companies in manufacturing and internationally traded services such as professional consultancies.”
Northern Ireland trade with Bulgaria is increasing and a trade mission from Northern Ireland visited Sofia in November 2010, the third such mission in the last three years.