Parvanov calls upon Russian businessmen to invest in Bulgarian economy

Speaking Friday at a Russian-Bulgarian business forum in Moscow, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov lured Russian business people with "huge opportunities" in the privatisation of the Bulgarian energy sector.

He said he had met with President Putin a day before to discuss bilateral cooperation in this very energy sector, known for long-standing traditions and good prospects. Parvanov also declared in favour of wider gas and oil transit across the territory of Bulgaria.

According to Parvanov, Russia and Bulgaria are in no position to regain the mutual trade turnover of $8 billion which had existed before the two countries launched their reforms, but should find a solution for trade and economic matters arising with economic liberalisation. In the opinion of the president, a solution ought to be sought jointly, within the confines of liberalised economies. He expressed hopes that Bulgaria's unfavourable balance in trade with Russia would be settled.

The president called upon Russian entrepreneurs to invest in the Bulgarian economy. Sofia is not satisfied with the current level of Russian investment which amounts to $205 million, with LUKoil responsible for half of it, he said.