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China, Bulgaria hope to deepen agricultural cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-27 10:26

SOFIA - China's Yunnan province and Bulgaria hope to deepen agricultural cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative and the 16+1 mechanism, officials said here on Friday.

Zhang Zulin, visiting Vice Governor of the province in Southwest China, said here in a keynote speech during a business forum that Bulgaria is one of the most important countries on the New Silk Road.

The cooperation with Bulgaria would be an important bridge to the other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries within the 16+1 mechanism, Zhang said.

"We know that Bulgaria has extensive experience in all areas of agriculture, and therefore we will be pleased to cooperate (in this field)," Zhang said at the event dedicated to the Yunnan agricultural sector.

He said that in particular, Bulgaria could be attracted by Yunnan's coffee and Puer tea, while Yunnan province was most interested in Bulgaria's roses, rose oil and rose products.

Vasil Gelev, executive director of the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and the CEE countries, said that on Tuesday, China and Bulgaria signed a joint declaration on the establishment in Bulgaria of an Agricultural Cooperation Demonstration Zone between China and CEE countries.

"Yunnan province has more than 1,000 demonstration zones similar to what we are currently trying to build in Bulgaria," Gelev said.

Thanks to the exchange of experience with Yunnan province, the demonstration zone in Bulgaria could be built properly, Gelev added.

Chinese Ambassador to Bulgaria Zhang Haizhou, who also addressed the event, said that historically, Yunnan province is located in the south of the Silk Road and can be considered as a gateway for cooperation between China and the 16 CEE countries.

The visit by the Yunnan delegation and this event could be a good prerequisite for deepening the practical cooperation with Bulgaria, he said.

The 16+1 mechanism is a platform created in April 2012 by China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries in a bid to inject impetus to cooperation between them.

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