ATHENS – The role of the Sea2Sea project, “whose aim is to connect Bulgarian ports on the Black Sea with the Greek ports in the northern Aegean Sea through a modern transport, energy and communication infrastructure,” was underlined by Bulgarian Ambassador to Greece Valentin Poriazov in an interview to Voria.gr.
Bulgaria is this year’s honored country at the 87th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) which opened on Saturday and an annual event his country has been attending since it first opened in 1926.
Underlining the importance of the Sea2SEa project, the Bulgarian ambassador noted that it would practically be an alternative route to the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Poriazov also pointed out the need to create better infrastructure between the two countries. He made particular note of the IGB gas interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria, which has been operating since 2022, as a clear example of a strategic long-term investment with a broad regional scope that inspires new sustainable investments, and to the project for a floating LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis, which will be completed by the end of this year.
Underlining the importance of TIF, the Bulgarian diplomat said that his country’s presence at such a significant an important international forum as TIF provided a broad range of opportunities and prospects for further development of economic cooperation in a number of areas, with the potential to improve the overall business climate and attract new investors.
Bulgaria’s participation in the 87th TIF “is indeed an honour for us and we will do our best to present the potential of the Bulgarian economy,” he said, adding that Bulgaria will be represented in sectors such as IT, hi-tech, energy, infrastructure, construction, education, tourism, and the food industry. Bulgarian companies with a strong international presence will participate, such as EnduroSat, a significant player in the satellite industry and space technology, and Telerik Academy, providing accessible and innovative digital technology training.
Also participating in the Fair will be the Bulgarian Investment Agency and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, while a bilateral Business Forum will be held on 11 September with the participation of ministers from both governments and business leaders. It will further stimulate the establishment of new partnerships between Bulgarian and Greek companies.
Poriazov also said that Greece is an attractive destination for international investments, including from Bulgaria. At present Bulgarian investment interests are mainly focused in the energy, infrastructure and tourism sectors, while he expressed the hope that “in the near future we will also witness Bulgarian investments in new fields, like communications and information technologies.”
Bulgaria has a particular interest in the plans for the future development and management of the Greek ports of Kavala and Alexandroupolis, the ambassador noted. Bulgarian businesses are particularly interested in these two ports “especially in the context of the blocked trade routes in the Black Sea due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine,” he noted.
Furthermore as an example of strong bilateral economic relations, Ambassador Poriazov noted the Greek investments in Bulgaria, where over 18,000 Greek companies operate. “The total Greek investments in Bulgaria reached a record 3 billion euros in 2022. For 2023, Greece is the third largest source of direct foreign investment in Bulgaria with over 300 million euros,” he underlined.