Economy, Business And Markets

Tehran, Sofia Sign 3 Deals

Tehran, Sofia Sign 3 DealsTehran, Sofia Sign 3 Deals

Iran and Bulgaria signed three memoranda of understanding in a meeting attended by visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri in Tehran on Monday.

The MoUs stipulate cooperation in the fields of information and communication technologies and interaction between the two countries’ small- and medium-sized enterprises in addition to joint investment, IRNA reported.

Borisov arrived in Tehran late Sunday at the head of a high-ranking delegation comprised of Bulgaria’s Deputy Premier Tomislav Donchev, Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva and Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, in addition to business representatives from the private sector of the Balkan country.

After meeting the Iranian official, Borisov said ties related to energy, transportation, banking, agriculture, tourism and telecommunications were discussed with Jahangiri.

Bulgaria’s Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva held a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Hojjati, in which the two sides expressed their willingness to expand cooperation in the agriculture sector.

Prime Minister Borisov was also scheduled to meet Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Monday.

  New Transport Corridor

Tehran has invited Sofia to take part in a new transport corridor stretching from Iran to Europe. The proposed corridor, which is meant to serve as an alternative to the current route passing through Turkey, joints the dots from Armenia, Georgia and the Black Sea to Bulgaria.

The idea has been floated for quite some time now, amid insecurity on the Turkish soil. Several Iranian truck drivers have been attacked in Turkey on their way to Europe.

Ankara blames the incidents on militants affiliated to Kurdistan Workers’ Party, yet no group has claimed the attacks. The Turkish government has also not taken any concrete action to stop these attacks.

“The transport corridor is not only limited to carrying goods, but even gas. Bulgaria’s participation could begin ‘as soon as now’ through the infrastructure of the Varna and Burgas ports,” said the Bulgarian prime minister.

Bulgarian Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski paid an official visit to Iran back in March at the helm of a 60-member delegation to attend the 18th session of Iran-Bulgaria Economic Commission.

“To Iran, Bulgaria is a gateway to Europe, just as Iran is the European country’s gateway to the Persian Gulf, the Indian peninsula and Central Asia. It’s our hope to see the two countries’ cooperation increase following these meetings,” said his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Akhoundi, at the meeting.

Later, in an interview with Financial Tribune, the Bulgarian minister said: “Bulgaria is geographically the closest member of EU to Iran. This is a source of opportunity that should not be underestimated … There is great potential in developing transport relations between Tehran and Sofia in the context of Iranian-EU cooperation.”