China pours EUR 30 M in agriculture in Bulgaria, EU's poorest region

(L-R) Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Naydenov, China's Deputy Agri Minister Gao, Bulgarian PM Borisov, Chinese Ambassador Gao in Sofia on Thursday (Photo: Council of Ministers)
Novinite | 17 November 2011

China's Tianjin State Farms Agribusiness Group Company is investing a total of EUR 10 M in the lease of agricultural land in Northwestern Bulgaria, the poorest EU region, the Bulgarian government announced.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov received the Deputy Agriculture Minister of China Gao Honbin and Bai Zhislieiig, Chair of Tianjin State Farms Agribusiness Group Company in Sofia on Thursday.

The Chinese company has rented 20 000 decares of land in Bulgaria's Northwestern (Severozapaden) Region – the poorest NUTS 2 region in the EU – to produce corn, forage, and sunflower.

All of the agricultural produce will be exported to the People's Republic of China. The plots in question are located in the Boynitsa Municipality, Vidin District, which according to Eurostat data has about the lowest GDP per capita in the European Union.

"Bulgaria has made an important first step in the realization of joint projects with China. We have the potential and resources to develop eco agriculture as well," Bulgarian Prime Minister stated upon receiving the Chinese officials, stressing that Bulgaria has the lowest taxes in the EU, and a stable investment environment.

China's Tianjin State Farms Agribusiness Group Company intends to invest EUR 20 M more in Bulgarian agriculture with some of the funds going into animal breeding.

Thus, in the medium run, its investment in Bulgaria is expected to reach EUR 30 M.

"With this project that we are starting in the Boynitsa Municipality we are demonstrating the interest of the People's Republic of China in cooperating with Bulgaria," China's Deputy Agriculture Minister Gao Honbin declared.

The governments of Bulgaria and China are mulling a bilateral agreement for phytosanitary permits for agricultural exports, the government press service said.
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