PARMAforEXPO: the Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy visits Parma


The PARMAforEXPO working group welcomes the Bulgarian delegation comprising representatives of the Government of Sofia, BulgariaInvest and BSMEPA as well as of some local businesses. The Eastern European country is for Parma a promising territory both to make investments and to open new business opportunities.

Parma, September 10, 2015 – After Brazil, Bulgaria will come and visit our city on the occasion of EXPO Milan: the Government of Sofia and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria have accepted the PARMAforEXPO working group invitation to come to visit Parma. The delegation is represented by the Deputy Minister of Economy, who is also entrusted with the promotion of Internationalization, Mr. Lyuben Petrov, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of BulgariaInvest, the Government Agency promoting relations with prospective investors in the Eastern European country, and the Head of the Internationalization Department of BSMEPA – Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Agency. The representatives of some local businesses, which mainly specialize in the agribusiness industry are also included in the delegation.

With a population of 7.2 million inhabitants, Bulgaria is showing steady growth: in 2014, the GDP increased by 1.7%, accounting for 55.7 billion dollars in value. The positive trend, with the exception of 2009, started 15 years ago thus promoting the emergence of a solid middle class and enabling Bulgaria to join the EU. According to the World Bank, the country’s GDP is expected to grow also in the period 2015-2017.

As confirmed by the data of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, Bulgaria has become a target market for the Italian businesses and Italy is now the country’s third largest trading partner: annual trade is growing and accounts for approximately four billion euro. We also are a major foreign investor, with about three billion Euros invested in the last 20 years, particularly in the manufacturing, energy, services, infrastructure, and agribusiness industries. Over 1,000 Italian companies currently work on the Bulgarian territory.

The Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy was received at Palazzo Soragna, the premises of UPI – Parma Union of Industrialists- by the stakeholders of the PARMAforEXPO working group: Cesare Azzali, Director of UPI and CEO of PARMAforEXPO; Andrea Zanlari, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma; Marco Vagnozzi, President of the Town Council of Parma; and prof. Stefano Sforza, from the Department of Food Science of the University of Parma.

The meeting focused on business opportunities for local companies in Bulgaria. In 2014, exports from the province of Parma to the Eastern European country accounted for 20 million euros with a growth of 5.2% over the previous year. The growth margins are wide, especially with regard to the following industries: mechanical components (representing 23% of exports), chemicals, pharmaceuticals (20%), textiles and clothing (17%), agribusiness (14%), and food machinery (11%).

The institutional meeting at Palazzo Soragna was followed by of B2B business matching activities at the Chamber of Commerce of Parma. The Bulgarian delegation then visited two top businesses in the territory of Parma: the Azienda Agricola Bertinelli, a farm specializing in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano and one of the three companies, out of 400 dairies in the area of ​​origin of the King of cheeses, which manage on their own the entire milk supply chain. And Agugiaro & Figna Molini, a company specializing in the production of superior quality flour thanks to a careful selection of the finest wheat varieties and a specific and tailored milling for each type of product. This is indeed the second largest mill in Italy for wheat milling.


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