Bulgaria: Agricultural and Food Exports Reach EUR 4.5 Bln to 5 Bln Annually

Bulgaria's agricultural and food exports have reached between 4.5 billion and 5 billion euro annually, with exports exceeding imports by about 1 billion euro, Agriculture Minister Roumen Porozhanov said on Wednesday, as quoted by his ministry. Porozhanov was addressing a traditional Easter forum entitled "Yes! To Bulgarian Food".

The country exports farming and food products mainly to European markets but there are also opportunities in the East. His Chinese counterpart Han Changfu has assured him that after three years of efforts a decision will be made on the import of Bulgarian dairy products to China. The Far Eastern country is also very interested in buying peeled sunflower seeds from Bulgaria. Three Bulgarian companies are supplying 10 million US dollars’ worth of peeled sunflower seeds annually and another 10 companies are to be approved.

Bulgaria is also trying to boost its wine exports to China, Porozhanov added. He paid special attention to the Arab markets, particularly Lebanon, which is a major food distribution hub and hosts one of the most successful world food fairs. Bulgaria is making arrangements to get a separate stall at the fair next year. Talks are underway to reduce Lebanese import tariffs on Bulgarian dairy products and bee honey.

At its weekly meeting earlier on Wednesday, the Bulgarian government approved the country's participation in the Saudi Agro Food 2019 exhibition to take place in Riyadh in October, the minister said, noting that Bulgaria will be represented at the exhibition for the second year in a row.

The head of the Executive Agency on Vine and Wine, Krassimir Koev, said that 1.3 million litres of Bulgarian bulk wine was exported to Tokyo in 2018.

The President of the Bread and Confectionery Producers Association, Mariana Koukousheva, proposed setting a requirement that food supplies under a public procurement contract - whether the recipients are schools, kindergartens, prisons, hospitals or social care homes – should meet sectoral standards. Staiko Staikov, President of the Bulgarian Association of Agricultural Land Owners, proposed the establishment of a single agricultural chamber to mediate future talks with the Agriculture Ministry.