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1 Apr 2016

Belarus invites Bulgaria to open new page in parliamentary relations

MINSK, 1 April (BelTA) – Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Viktor Guminsky has invited Bulgaria to open a new page in parliamentary relations. He made a relevant statement as he met with Chairman of the Economic Policy and Tourism Commission Petar Kanev on 1 April, BelTA has learned.

Viktor Guminsky pointed out that since 2002 there have been no visits organized between Belarus and Bulgaria at the level of parliamentary delegations. Meanwhile, such visits lay the legislative foundation for further relations. “We would like the current visit of your delegation to open a new page in the parliamentary relations,” he noted. The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives believes that apart from bilateral relations, Belarus and Bulgaria can strengthen cooperation in international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In 2015, the trade between Belarus and Bulgaria totaled around $130 million, up by 18.4% from 2014. Still, there is potential for increasing the trade volume. Belarus’ exports stood at $92 million with imports at more than $34 million. For the first time in the past ten years, Belarus had a bilateral trade surplus of over $57 million.

For his part, Petar Kanev focused on the development of relations in tourism. He pointed out that tourism is one of the most important industries for Bulgaria which expects an increase in the number of tourists in 2016 in light of the volatile situation in a number of resort countries.

Petar Kanev also pointed out that the next meeting of the Belarusian-Bulgarian intergovernmental commission is scheduled for early summer 2016.

At present, the legal framework of the Belarusian-Bulgarian cooperation consists of six interstate, eleven intergovernmental, and seven interagency agreements. Besides, draft agreements on cooperation in combating crime and in emergency management and prevention have already been reviewed by relevant agencies. The documents are expected to be submitted to the Bulgarian Council of Ministers and signed in 2016.

Reportedly, as many as eight draft international agreements are currently under consideration by the Bulgarian side.

Representatives of the Belarusian and Bulgarian Ministries of Foreign Affairs will meet in Minsk on 11 to 12 April 2016 to review the legal framework of the bilateral cooperation.

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