Bulgaria and Argentina enhance their economic cooperation

The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry /BCCI/ together with the Argentinian Chamber of Commerce and Services /CAC/ organized an online webinar for the possibilities for business cooperation between Bulgaria and Argentina.

Dr. Vasil Todorov, Secretary General of BCCI welcomed participants from both sides and emphasized that The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has maintained partnership with similar organizations in Argentina since 1979. He pointed out that BCCI regularly organizes online events together with the diplomatic missions and Chambers in the two countries that aim at encouraging companies to find partners and establish collaboration with businesses from Bulgaria and Argentina. Chambers of Commerce are the well proven source of information about business opportunities therefore we exchange useful information with our Argentinian partners about economic issues, legal aspects of business, demand – supply opportunities, fairs and exhibitions among others.

Information about the bilateral trade was presented. It is characterized by unstable levels of trade and a negative trade balance for Bulgaria. There are constant fluctuations in the exchange of goods between Bulgaria and Argentina. In 2022 Bulgaria`s trade with Argentina amounted to USD 41.89 million, of which exports amounted to USD 12.51 million. and import USD 29.38 mil. For comparison, in 2021, the trade with Argentina was 44.58 million USD, of which export 8.09 million. USD and import 36.49 million USD. For the indicated period, Bulgarian exports marked growth of 54.7% compared to the previous year. The most significant increase was in the item "chemical fertilizers" - over 264%. A 19.5% decrease compared to 2021 was observed in the case of Argentine imports in Bulgaria, with the commodity structure being preserved in general, but with changed quantities.

The modest figures show a big room for development and we intend the event today to give a boost to the bilateral economic relations summarized Todorov.

Marcelo Elizondo, Director of the Argentinian Chamber of Commerce and Services and President of the International Chamber of Commerce in Argentina explained that the organization is extremely involved in the promotion of international links in terms of business. One of the strategies of the chamber being establishing alliances and partnerships with colleagues and similar institutions all around the world in order to create bridges to build a global or an international platform for business. Different instruments have been used in this regard, first of all, provision of information about the opportunities we have in our countries /information about company's regulations, policies but also information in terms of market and competitiveness of companies, etc. Elizondo stressed on the technical assistance, the help that Chambers provide to companies and businessmen to become more competitive, ensuring assistance in terms of training - seminars, adaptation to the new requirements in the sophisticated global economy. Last but not least is the promotion of business. Chambers put companies in contact, organize business trips or digital meetings in order to bring companies to competitiveness.

H.E. Mr. Stoyan Mihaylov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bulgaria to Argentina said that the event is special to him since he was present at the signing of the cooperation agreement between both chambers back in February 2021. It was a manifestation of the strong connection between the two institutions. “Connectivity is the ability to connect systems and that is what is happening today. The presentations and exchanged information today will open windows for Argentinians to the Bulgarian market and for the Bulgarian business to the Argentine market.”, said the Ambassador.

Mr. Daniel Horacio Cottini, Chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of the Republic of Argentina in Sofia addressed the audience stating that Argentina is in the process of implementing a policy of economic liberalisation for which some administrative measures have already been taken and other relevant legislative changes are being discussed nowadays regarding the foreign economic policy. The county`s priorities are the opening of external markets for exports of Argentine goods and services, the promotion investments and the accession to the OECD. Argentinians are convinced that the opening of new markets will allow them to increase the Argentine exports of goods, which is last year which is around $67 billion. 

The Executive director of InvestBulgaria Agency Mila Nenova made a presentation of the business climate and investment opportunities in Bulgaria. The Agency promotes Bulgaria as an investment destination, supports potential investors, and certifies eligible projects for incentives. Bulgaria offers competitive operational costs, access to EU markets, and proximity to Near East for companies seeking to expand into Europe. Bulgaria offers stable macroeconomic environment with low government debt and resilient industrial production.

Matías Bolis Wilson, Chief Economist of CAC explained in details the business climate in Argentina. The country has negative economic growth in the past twelve years but has been implementing a series of reforms to refresh the economy. Fiscal mechanisms have been applied and there are positive results in a long run. A tax reform is to be implemented after approval of the Government.

Gergana Dimitrova, IP expert, Latin America IP SME Helpdesk made an overview of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in Argentina. The conditions, terms, timing and costs for obtaining trademark, patent and design in Argentina were explained. The steps and procedures were presented as well as some tips and advise for EU based companies that have or intend to maintain IPRs in Argentina.

Over 50 participants attended the meeting. Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Argentinian Chamber of Commerce and Services will continue to cooperate in favour of businesses from both countries.