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Russia to double trade with Bulgaria within 5 years

Russia expects Russian-Bulgarian trade volume to be doubled within the next five years, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said after his meeting with Bulgarian Economy Minister Lidiya Shuleva.

According to Kudrin, the 2003 growth in trade between Russia and Bulgaria was due not only to a rise in Russian exports, but also to the fact that Bulgarian imports to Russia stepped up 18 percent. The finance minister is of the opinion that given a high rate of trade growth the trade volume is likely to double within the next five years.

The officials also discussed the outlooks for Russian-Bulgarian cooperation, and, in particular, improving trade conditions ahead of Bulgaria's accession to the EU and Russia's accession to the WTO. Additionally, the sides touched upon the facilitation of visa regulations for truck-based transportation of goods.

(The Moscow Times 02.ii.04)

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