There is a big European river between Romania and Bulgaria that should not separate the two countries, buy that should unite them instead, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev told the opening on Thursday in Bucharest of a Romanian-Bulgarian business forum hosted by Romania’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He attended the event alongside Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis and talked about the need for infrastructure investment in both countries.
“Our citizens must have better conditions for better connection as far as infrastructure and all the spheres of our bilateral relationships are concerned. There is a big European river between us that should unite us instead of disuniting,” said Radev.
He added that he discussed infrastructure with Iohannis.
“We agreed to do our best to support our governments so as to boost the infrastructure projects and improve infrastructure for building bridges (…) They will provide our citizens with a possibility to intensify their ties,” he said.
He also mentioned the latest economic developments in Bulgaria. “Over the past years, Bulgaria has recorded a surge in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) past the European average of 3.4 percent. (…) There is a strong Bulgarian business presence,” said Radev.
He added that there is a huge potential in respect to the cooperation between Bulgaria and Romania.
Rumen Radev was on an official visit to Romania, Wednesday and Thursday, at the invitation of President Iohannis.
Rule of law not only strict law observance, but also state of spirit, says Klaus Iohannis
The rule of law doesn’t only mean the strict observance of the law, but also a state of spirit, creating the necessary framework for prosperous economic relations, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday at the Romanian Chamber of Commerce.
The head of state participated, alongside his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev, in the opening of the Forum dedicated to Romanian and Bulgarian business people.
Iohannis spoke of the evolution of the commercial relations between Romania and Bulgaria, as well as about what must be improved in this area.
“The total value of commercial exchanges neared 4 billion euro in 2016, after over the past three years it registered an annual average growth of over 7 percent. Continuing this positive trend, in the first months of this year, commercial exchanges increased almost 12 percent from the similar period of last year, which creates expectations that 2017 will register a new record,” he said.
The President added that the positive evolutions must be endorsed “by identifying new economic opportunities” meant to get the two states even closer, “through cooperation in top areas, as innovating as possible.”
In this respect, the head of state underscored, “it is important to draw Bulgarian investments in Romania and encourage Romanian companies interested in investing in Bulgaria.”
A special interest might be found, he said, in tourism, constructions, as well as the metallurgy and car part for the auto industry areas.
“At the same time, Bulgaria’s economy could benefit from the performances of the IT&C sector of Romania, through business partnerships in the production area,” the head of state added.
He also spoke of the collaboration in the tourism area, bringing to mind that, at present, about one million Romanian tourists annually visit Bulgaria and almost half a million Bulgarian tourists visit Romania. “We want to extend this dimension through common projects, including in respect to cultural tourism and projects devoted to third markets, from geographically remote areas,” Iohannis highlighted.
The head of state also referred to the regional energy cooperation, “an objective of a vital importance for the economies in the region.”
“I salute the inauguration, in 2016, of the Giurgiu-Ruse gas inter-connector. At the same time, Romania grants a special importance to the BRUA [Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria] gas pipeline. We are positive that, through consistency and determination from all national and commercial partners, BRUA will enhance the importance of our countries on Europe’s energy map,” Klaus Iohannis said.
Romania’s President discussed, in context, of the European Union’s Strategy for the Danube Delta.
“Modernising the Danube ports, ensuring the navigableness and the development of the river transport, building new road bridges are but some of the few projects that can turn the Danube – and I am stressing this today, 29 June, the International Day of the Danube – a true source of prosperity for our economies,” he underscored.
Klaus Iohannis also pointed out the need for investments in infrastructure.
“The regional cooperation will be stronger when infrastructure, road, rail and river infrastructure, will facilitate even more and better the movement of persons and freight between our countries. To this end, the authorities of both states must identify concrete solutions to ease the traffic through the border points,” he added.
At the end, the head of state highlighted the need of an “efficient” legislative framework.
“The business environment in our countries needs an efficient, clear and adapted to the economic space where they conduct their activity legislative framework. The rule of law doesn’t mean strict observance of the law, but also a state of spirit, strong institutions, stable and predictable laws, zero tolerance for corruption. Only this way we can sustainably endorse investments, entrepreneurship and market economy,” Klaus Iohannis said.