The first Macedonian-Bulgarian business forum kicked off on Thursday in the capital city Skopje to promote bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.
The Macedonian Vice Premier for Economic Affairs Kocho Angjushev and his Bulgarian counterpart Tomislav Donchev were present at the opening ceremony of the forum where some 200 companies were participating, 54 of which were Bulgarian.
The participating companies include businesses such as: mining enterprises, construction, transport, as well from agriculture, food and tourism sectors.
In his speech at the forum Angjushev stressed that the signing of the Friendship Treaty with Bulgaria in August 2017 resulted in a 16.95 percent rise in bilateral trade in 2018.
“Both countries were committed to solving infrastructure problems and to reduce administrative barriers,” said Angjushev.
Donchev confirmed Bulgaria’s determination to boost trade by 50 percent over the next few years.
The two counterparts discussed as well on establishing a joint border customs office and increasing cooperation in the energy sector.
The Bulgarian deputy minister of economy, Aleksandar Manolev, also present in the forum, said that in 2018 Bulgaria-Macedonia trade totalled 723 million euro (around 823 million U.S. dollars).
Moreover, Manolev encouraged small and medium-sized enterprises to focus on producing goods and services to export, Xinhua reports.