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Building IKEA in Sofia starts in March 2010

26 November 2009 / 10:11:12  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova

Two big companies are about to invest €300 million in the Bulgarian market. €90 million will be invested for building IKEA, Swedish furniture store in Sofia and €210 million for a new mall on the Ring Road. The groundbreaking of the two new projects will be conducted in March 2010 and in June 2011 IKEA is supposed to open its doors. The mall is supposed to open three months later. IKEA and the new mall will open over 800 job positions and at a later stage two more IKEA stores will open in the country – in Varna and on the highway between Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. Until now materials and components for IKEA are being made in Bulgaria for about €45 million per year. After opening the stores in the country, it is expected that those orders will increase drastically.

This was announced by Bulgarian Minister of Transportation Rosen Plevneliev, who had a meeting with representatives of Fourlis and Danao Group. The Bulgarian delegation, lead by President Georgi Parvanov, gave an official lunch to 30 Greek traders and industrialists – representatives of the business elite – and after that they discussed future business projects, which will favor both neighboring countries. Representatives of the Greek business sector showed great interest in investing and developing in the extractive industry in Bulgaria. They also showed particular interest in some state enterprises, like the factory for isolation materials production in Krumovgrad.

During President Parvanov’s visit a Bulgarian-Greek business forum took place and host was the Athens Chamber of Traders and Industrialists. The forum was opened with a speech by the chairman of the chamber Konstantinos Mihalos and followed were speeches by the two Presidents – Georgi Parvanov and Karolos Papoulyas.

In his speech President Parvanov stressed that the volume of trade-economic exchange could be significantly increased through the creation of long term  cooperation plan between the two countries. The geographic position of both countries, “the traditional and tested throughout the years friendship between our nations,” and the fact that both Greece and Bulgaria are part of the EU, are the grounds for positive development of the economic relations between the two Balkan countries. President Parvanov said that “there is complete understanding between the Greek and Bulgarian authorities. This understanding cannot be questioned and it does not depend on changes of the governments, which are part of the democratic process. This is why today the Bulgarian delegation includes representatives of all key institutions – the Presidency, the executive and local authority.”

Briefly Parvanov mentioned also the challenges, which both countries are facing – insuring better conditions for developing businesses, improving infrastructure and increasing the number of border posts (opening a new local border post Xanti-Zlatograd). Georgi Parvanov did not fail to mention the commitments to "the big energy projects that benefit both our countries but also are part of our overall contribution to energy security of the region and of Europe as a whole."

According to Parvanov an important subject, which requires an immediate decision is how to increase Bulgarian investments on Greek territory. The Bulgarian President stressed that “when it comes down to Bulgarian investments interest in Greece, things are not as we would like them to be” and added that the Bulgarian-Greek business forum gives a good opportunity for people in the real business world to discuss these problems and to find solutions. 

Tags: Greece Bulgaria investments IKEA
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