Bulgarian and Qatari officials meeting in Doha this week have discussed the possibility of a north-south corridor supplying gas from Qatar to Southeast Europe via Greece .
Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria, proposed the construction of a south-to-north gas corridor while meeting Qatar’s Emir on Tuesday.
Plevneliev said tighter connections with Qatar in the energy sector would be of key importance to Bulgaria and the countries in Southeast Europe. He says Qatar could become the first country which exports natural gas to participate in the realisation of the south-to-north gas corridor.
The Bulgarian President said willingness for participation in such a project has already been expressed by the Visegrád Group states, which include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, along with Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
“We are looking for an opportunity for joint investments on the part of the seven countries for the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal on the territory of Greece. The realisation of such a project will definitely take time yet Bulgaria has to work for the diversification of its energy sources,“ Plevneliev said.
The possibilities for cooperation in the energy sector and the construction of zero-energy building were also discussed with the Emir of Qatar. (Qatar-Gulf News sources)
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Bulgarian president keen on building stronger Qatar ties
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, during a recent meeting with the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA), said he was looking forward to building stronger mutual business partnerships with Qatar.
Plevneliev was in Qatar recently, accompanied by Bulgarian officials and a business delegation to discuss ways to expand the bilateral trade relations between the two countries.
Plevneliev met with QBA first deputy chairman Hussain al-Fardan, QBA board member Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser al-Thani, and QBA members Nasser Suliman al-Haidar, Salah al-Jaidah, and Maqbool Habeeb Khalfan.
They were also joined by Al-Mana Group vice chairman and CEO Saud al-Mana and QBA deputy general manager Sarah Abdallah during the meeting held at the QBA office inside the Renaissance Hotel.
Plevneliev said he is looking forward to working with Qatar “in building mutually successful business partnerships” and noted that the strategic location of Bulgaria serves as a commercial gateway between eastern European countries and the Middle East.
The Bulgarian president also discussed investment incentives that Bulgaria may offer to Qatar, among them stable macroeconomic environment and low labour and operating costs. He noted that Bulgaria also enjoys a low debt rate of 16%, adding that the local economy is expected to grow by 3% to 4% by 2018.
Plevneliev stressed that one of Bulgaria’s most important sectors for investment is its agriculture and food industry.
In addition to its energy sector, the president said Bulgaria is seeking to diversify its economy by buying gas from Qatar with the involvement of the following European countries: Greece, Romania, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Plevneliev said: “These projects are aimed at establishing a liquefied natural gas facility in Greece to facilitate the purchase of gas from Qatar and bring it to Bulgaria.”
In return, Plevneliev said Bulgaria can provide assistance to Qatar in solar energy, in which Qatar has been investing heavily for the past three years.
According to Plevneliev, the real estate and construction sector in Bulgaria “is well developed and is considered as an attractive sector” to invest and explore.
On the other hand, the QBA highlighted Qatar’s achievements under the leadership of the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, by showcasing business and investment opportunities available in the country.
The QBA also invited Bulgarian companies and businessmen to explore investment opportunities available in Qatar’s varied economic sectors.
At the same time, the QBA also expressed their interest to discover investment opportunities in Bulgaria, particularly in the banking, tourism, and real estate sectors.
“We are ready to facilitate and support Bulgarian companies and businessmen to enter the Qatari market and form joint projects with their Qatari counterparts,” the QBA said, adding that Plevneliev had, invited the association to send a business delegation to Bulgaria and explore trade opportunities there.