Varna, Bulgaria (PortSEurope) September 7 – The project “Bulgarian Logistics Corridor (Asia-Port Varna-Central Europe)” – EU Gateway of the Black Sea Economic Zone Cluster (BSEZC) was set for implementation by 2027 in the Integrated Territorial Strategy for Development of the Northeast Region (NER) of Bulgaria. “This is a very big victory for the team of the BSEZC, a public benefit association, a significant public recognition
of one of our many years of expert work, put in public benefit on this strategically important project for all Northeast Bulgaria, Varna district, Varna city and for the Port of Varna!” Doychin Nikov, the president of BSEZC said. The project is expected to develop the region of Varna and North East Bulgaria, in a way similar to the impact that another project had on the Constanta Port on Romanian Black Sea coast and Thracian Economic Zone in Plovdiv region (Central Southern Bulgaria). The aim of the project is to redirect through Bulgaria a substantial part of the cargo (worth some €300 billion per year) from Asia and the Middle East towards Eastern and Central Europe. “Such state miracles (the inclusion of the project in the integrated strategy) rarely happen in Bulgaria. This is a far-sighted decision and a positive step forward. Deserved result of our many years of persistent and consistent persuasion of many municipalities and districts, and as a result received large-scale support from seven municipalities and five districts for a new path for economic development of Northeastern Bulgaria,” Nikov said. The authors of the project believe that 3-4% of the cargo traffic from Asia and the Middle East towards Eastern and Central Europe could be re-directed through a re-export hub in the Varna region. This is expected to contribute $3.9 billion (€3.39 billion) to the Bulgaria gross domestic product (GDP) and to generate over $400 million (€348 million) in taxes. The project will also reduce the Bulgarian firms’ logistics cost by 10% and create over 40,000 new job positions. The Bulgarian Logistics Corridor (Asia-Port Varna-Central Europe) project will face the competition of the well-developed multimodal Black Sea port of Constanta in Romania, which has a direct link to Danube river and faster road connections to Central Europe. The current political crisis in Bulgaria will also negatively affect the ambitious project. And while Varna will soon be connected to the Northern Bulgarian highway, the lack of a proper motorway connection to the country’s largest Danube port of Russe is an issue. The project was first introduced in July 2017 and its realisation is expected to take seven years. The investments forecast for the first stage of the project is €800 million ($920 million). The EU Gateway – Business Avenues is an initiative funded by the European Union (EU), created and managed by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments under the Partnership Instrument. The programme acts as a bridgehead to provide business support services to European enterprises interested to develop their business in Asia. The initiative was rebranded EU Gateway – Business Avenues following the successful implementation of a pilot to South East Asia. The BSEZC is an innovative industrial project with an area of 6.7 million m² for attracting large investments (FDI) in the Black Sea Economic Zone, North-East and North-Central regions of Bulgaria. The BSEZC consists of four industrial parks (1 active and 3 in a project). The project attracted the interest of international investors from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Asia. The BSEZC offers the investors a rich portfolio of services – from the construction of industrial sites to the overall management of investment projects. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2020.
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