LAHORE: Tax holidays, lowest taxes and duties and an overall tax rate of around 10% make Bulgaria a lucrative destination for investment, which Pakistani businessmen should explore by joining hands with their Bulgarian counterparts, said Bulgarian Ambassador Aleksandar Borisov Parashkevov.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the envoy said that the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Bulgaria had all the facilities for investors.
While recognising the strong diplomatic and political relations between Bulgaria and Pakistan, spanning over 55 years, he stressed that private sectors of both countries should interact with each other, exchange trade and industry-related information to cement mutual trade and economic ties.
“Bulgaria is an EU member state and enjoys a lot of benefits in this respect. It can be a gateway to the European Union for Pakistani businessmen,” remarked the ambassador. “Bulgaria is connected with Pakistan by road via Iran, therefore, trade is more convenient between the two countries,” he pointed out.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh appreciated Bulgaria for its continued support for the GSP Plus status, given to Pakistan by the European Union, which was of critical importance in boosting Pak-EU trade relations.
Sheikh pointed out that the total trade volume between Pakistan and Bulgaria had averaged around $33 million over the past few years, which did not reflect the actual potential of bilateral trade.
To enhance the trade volume, he said, there was a need to capitalise on the progress made at the second session of Pakistan-Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Commission on Economic Cooperation held in Islamabad last year, where both the countries agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
Sheikh saw a considerable scope for enhancing imports by Bulgaria of Pakistan’s citrus fruit, mangoes, rice, value-added textile, dates, furniture and marble.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2020.