Municipalities and NAMRB at the Local Leaders’ Forum on the Initiative 16+ 1
The 4th Local Leaders’ Meeting of the Central and East European Countries (CEE) and China “16+1” took place on October 20th 2018, in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. NAMRB was amongst the partners of the high-level Forum. The partnership of NAMRB is as result of long-standing cooperation and interaction with the Chinese People's Association for Friendship between Cities. Seven years ago, in 2011, with NALAS cooperation NAMRB welcomed delegation of more than 80 representatives of Chinese local and regional authorities, organized by the Chinese People's Association of Friendship between Cities. Then Chinese and Bulgarian Associations signed Cooperation Agreement. Its main objective is to promote cooperation between Bulgarian and Chinese local authorities in the spheres of economic development, scientific and technological progress, culture and other areas for achieving social prosperity and progress. This commitment was renewed in February this year when, in Sofia and Plovdiv, NAMRB welcomed the leadership of its Chinese partner association. As a result of this cooperation, we have 22 Bulgarian municipalities twinned with 32 urban agglomerations, cities and provinces from the People’s Republic of China.
A delegation of 20 representatives, mayors of municipalities twinned with Chinese local authorities, mayors from the governing bodies of the Association, the NAMRB Executive Director and experts, participated in the Forum.
The initiative was launched under the motto "Global Thinking, Local Action". The main objective of the meeting was to provide a platform for deepening cooperation between local authorities and business from CEE and China in the areas of tourism, agriculture, industrial zones and small and medium-sized enterprises. The event was attended by more than 700 representatives of state institutions, provinces, districts, local authorities, business, academia from Bulgaria, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, etc.. Delegations participated from 12 Chinese provinces with population of 40 to 100 million inhabitants.
In the first plenary session of the forum dedicated to agriculture and tourism, statement was made by the NAMRB Executive Director Silvia Georgieva. She stressed that NAMRB is an entry point for investments in the Bulgarian municipalities. “Our municipalities also have a good relationship with valuable Chinese partners, among them the most famous are Huawei's mobile delivery service, Yutong bus for the supply of modern transportation vehicles, Tianshinng Feed for the production of fodder products, Tianjin farms group for technology exchange in the precise agriculture”, said Georgieva. “We also have a fruitful co-operation in the production and promotion of traditional products such as Bulgarian yoghurt, in the export of cosmetic products with rose oil, wine and others. NAMRB also has a wonderful cooperation with the Chinese People's Association for Friendship between Cities. The association also supports twinning of Bulgarian and Chinese local authorities, as dozens of Bulgarian municipalities already have a fruitful cultural exchange with their Chinese partners.”
The mayors of the municipalities presented opportunities for tourism, agriculture and business development in their territories and met with the Chinese business and the provinces representatives. The Chinese business was represented by large companies with different fields of activity - agriculture, tourism, real estate, construction, pharmacy, food and beverages, etc.