Qatar Eyes Bulgaria Investment Possibilities
Qatar eyed Bulgaria investment opportunities on Thursday as the two countries signed a framework agreement at the start of a visit by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani to Bulgaria.
"I believe that there are viable opportunities to invest in Bulgaria," Sheikh Hamad told a press conference after signing an investment framework agreement with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov, adding that the government in Sofia "interacts with us seriously and responsibly."
The deal could see the state-owned Qatari Investment Fund put as much as 100 million euros ($127 million) in different projects in Bulgaria.
Separate memorandums of understanding were also signed for cooperation in the farming, cattle-breeding, food trade, spa and tourism, real estate, mining, health and culture sectors.
"I hope to see the launching of concrete projects by the end of this year," the Qatari premier said.
"Qatar has also decided to deposit 200 million dollars in Bulgaria's central bank BNB as proof of its seriousness," he added without elaborating.
Borisov welcomed the possibility to do business with Qatar as "a huge chance for Bulgarian industry and farmers."
The two men are due to hold trilateral talks near the Black Sea city of Varna on Friday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with cooperation in energy and road infrastructure topping the agenda.
Sofia last week opened for potential investors a project to build a new 300-kilometre (186-mile) motorway between its southeastern border with Turkey and the northern border with Romania, with Qatar said to be interested.
Bulgaria is also keen to diversify its energy sources by linking its gas network to that of neighboring Turkey, which will enable it to receive gas from the Middle East and Caspian regions.