On November 8th and 9th, the Director of APACCCEEC took part in several bilateral meetings, organized with the kind help and assistance of Mrs. Ivet Nikolova, Commercial Counsellor at the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Shanghai.
The first meeting, which took place on 8th November, was with Mr. He Chunlai, Director of International Cooperation division of the Shanghai Municipal Agriculture and Rural Affairs Commission. During the meeting, both sides discussed the bilateral trade relations between China and Bulgaria in the field of agriculture, as well as the current initiatives of the APACCCEEC. Dr. Stanishev and Mr. Chunlai discussed the participation of Bulgarian companies at the CIIE in Shanghai, and Dr. Stanishev presented the exhibitors and their interest in cooperating with Chinese partners.
Mr. Stanishev also did an overview of the trade relations between Bulgaria and China over the past few years, more specifically the bilateral exchange of agricultural goods. The Director of APACCCEEC noted that during the period January – May 2023, the value of Bulgarian agricultural goods exported to China has increased more than three times on a yearly basis, compared to the same period last year. Another subject of discussion during the meeting was speeding up the procedures for meeting the import into China requirements for a number of Bulgarian agricultural and food products. Apart from that, Dr. Stanishev also paid attention to the good cooperation in education in the field of agriculture, as well as the good academic practices and cooperation between Bulgarian and Chinese universities and institutes.
The meeting on November 9th, in which Mr. Momchil Stanishev and Mrs. Ivet Nikolova participated, was with Mr. Luo Zhisong, General Manager of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. During the meeting, both sides discussed the Association’s participation in the exhibition in Shanghai with two pavilions, as well as the prospects for Bulgarian businesses in Shanghai, and the positioning of more products from the CEE region in China. In that regard, the possibility of opening a permanent pavilion for the CEE countries in Shanghai was also considered.
The host of the meeting presented a number of future events that would be of interest to CEE business circles in the agricultural sector – for example, participation in the Gourmet Festival in May and the Dragon Boat Festival in September in Shanghai. The Director of APACCCEEC introduced Mr. Zhisong to some of the main initiatives of the Association, including the festival “CEE Culinary Days” and the “Accelerator Program for start-ups in the field of agriculture between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe”. Dr. Stanishev also noted the good cooperation with the academic circles in Bulgaria and CEE countries, the work with universities which are focused on business education and cooperation with institutes and other universities. During the meeting, special focus was placed on expanding trade opportunities for Bulgarian enterprises with partners from Shanghai, in which regard Dr. Stanishev extended his invitation to a Chinese business delegation to visit Bulgaria and get acquainted with the opportunities for investments in the country and for cooperation with Bulgarian companies.
The bilateral meetings continued on the same day with a visit to the Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai and Chamber of International Commerce Shanghai, where Dr. Stanishev and Mrs. Nikolova were kindly welcomed by Mr. Yang Dongsheng, Vice Chairman. The meeting was also attended by Ms. Laura Li Jie, Director of International Department, Ms. Ana Zhou, Deputy Director of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai Sub-Council Commercial Consultancy Center, Mr. Di Rong, Deputy Director of Trade and Investment Promotion at the Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai, Mr. Tim Xu, International Department of the Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Mr. Soldier Chen, International Department.
The topics that were discussed during the meeting, included a presentation of the main activities of the APACCCEEC, such as the “Accelerator Program for start-ups in the field of agriculture between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe”, participation in exhibitions and fairs, as well as the CEEC pavilion in Shanghai. In regard to the APACCCEEC’s participation in exhibitions, the Director of the Association noted that there is a database maintained on the APACCCEEC website containing such forums. Dr. Stanishev invited the hosts to participate in exhibitions and fairs in Bulgaria, such as the upcoming thematic exhibition in Bulgaria “Vinaria” in February. The Director invited Mr. Dongsheng to visit Bulgaria alongside a business delegation in order to get acquainted with the country’s advantages for the development of wine tourism. Both sides also discussed mutual cooperation in support of start-ups in agriculture, organizing future bilateral forums and business visits.