Bulgaria, N Macedonia sign new co-operation deals

Three memoranda of understanding in various fields were signed on January 25 after a joint meeting in Sofia of the governments of Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

The signing came a week after Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov led a delegation to Skopje in an initiative to boost bilateral relations, which have been troubled in recent years, leading Bulgaria to stand in the way of North Macedonia’s European Union membership aspirations.

The memoranda cover co-operation in agriculture, on a Sofia-Skopje rail link, and on supporting and promoting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Petkov said that the signing showed “a new approach with new energy and real results”.

He said that the joint commission on historical issues would have at least three meetings in the coming four months. Professors on both sides had shown a constructive tone, Petkov said.

The document on agriculture envisions deepening co-operation between the two countries through the exchange of scientific and technical information and the transfer of expertise.

The sharing of good practices, development and implementation of joint research projects and cross-border cooperation in the field of rural areas is envisaged.

The Bulgarian side undertakes to share its experience regarding the implementation of the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.

The document on the Sofia-Skopje rail link provides for an assessment of the investment value and a study of funding opportunities from the European Union and international financial institutions. This will be done by a joint group of experts from Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

The third document envisages partnership between the two countries’ agencies for promotion of SMEs and entrepreneurship. There is a commitment to exchange business information related to trade, investment opportunities, policies and measures taken by each of the two governments to promote the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The two countries will co-operate in organising promotional events in the service of small and medium enterprises such as exchanges of visits by entrepreneurs, participation in business forums, conferences, seminars, trade fairs, exhibitions, and visits by delegations.

(Photo: government.bg)

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