/ Meeting with representatives from China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone


On August 1, 2018, a meeting was held between representatives of the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European Countries (APACCCEEC) and China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Presenting the Chinese side at the meeting were Chen Xi – Deputy Governor of Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Government and Vice Chairman of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Administration, Ph.D Ma Xuejie, Vice Chairman of Shanghai Pudong New Area Commission of Commerce, Huan Yong – Head of Gaudong Town in Shanghai Pudong New Area, Du Yanying – Director of the Waiojoqiao Office of Bonded Areas Office of China (Shanghai)Pilot Free Trade Zone Administration, Xu Jingshu – Deputy Director of Investment Management Department of Shanghai Pudong New Area Commission of Commerce, and Jiang Gangsheng – Vice Chairman of Shanghai Pudong New Area Tourism and Exhibition Service Center.

The opportunities for cooperation in the field of agriculture and tourism were discussed. Following a brief presentation of APACCCEEC and its projects, the representatives of the Free Trade Zone expressed their desire for joint initiatives to attract more Bulgarian products to the Chinese market.

Felix Chen has provided information on the activities and capabilities of one of the world’s largest ports, namely the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. For his part, Ph.D Ma Xuejie expressed hope for the rise of cultural tourism between China and the CEE countries. In China, information on Bulgaria’s beauty and capabilities is still too scarce, Ma said. The lack of direct flights between the two countries was identified as a factor limiting the potential for mutual cooperation and it’s the main reason for slowing down not only trading and investment opportunities, but the tourist exchange as well.

Shanghai is one of China’s major trading arteries, making 60% of the country’s imports and exports. Representatives of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone noted that this is the most conventional option for logistics of goods from the 16+1 countries at sea via the Greek port of Piraeus. In the discussion, as the possible points for collection and transportation of the products, the port of Bourgas and the project of the APACCCEEC “16+1 Logistic hub and Pavilion for eCommerce for agricultural and other products” – Plovdiv, Trakia  Economic Zone were mentioned.

The Chinese side has shown an interest about the international airport in Plovdiv (close to the logistics hub of APACCCEEC) and the potential airborne transport and in view of the fact, that there is an air trade zone in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The Bulgarian products of greatest interest to the Chinese consumers are the agricultural products, dairy products, wine and rose oil and its derivatives, Mr. Chen said.

The event to which the representatives of APACCCEEC were introduced was “2018 PUDONG Convention and Exhibition”. It will be held for the first time this year on 5-10 November and will be conducted annually. The official guests and participants invited in the event are from over 120 countries, including the heads of some of the counties from “16+1” Initiative. The newly-built Pudong Exhibition Center will also offer year-round exposition of selected products.