Minister Dlamini Zuma to host Bulgarian Counterpart

Pretoria – South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will on Friday 13 February 2009 host the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin for bilateral political, economic and trade discussions at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.  Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kalfin will arrive in South Africa on Thursday 12 February 2009 where he will pay his first three day official visit to South Africa.

Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will host her counterpart within the context of South Africa’s priority to consolidate bilateral political, economic and trade relations with the European Union of which Bulgaria is a new member, with a view to strengthening North-South co-operation.

Accordingly, issues on the agenda of discussions between Foreign Ministers Dlamini Zuma and Kalfin are expected to include, among others:

  • The status of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries;
  • Bulgarian support for the consolidation of the African agenda including perspectives on Bulgaria’s new Africa policy;
  • A briefing on developments within Africa with specific reference to recent developments in Zimbabwe;
  • The comprehensive reform of the United Nations;
  • Developments in the Balkans; and
  • Developments within the Middle East.

While in South Africa Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kalfin will also hold discussions with the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.  Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kalfin will depart from South Africa on Sunday 15 February 2009.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Trade between South Africa and Bulgaria has grown steadily over the years.  Both sides should however explore ways to compliment each other in the economic field.  Following the accession of Bulgaria to the EU in 2007, the entering into effect of the Trade Development Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) is expected to stimulate bilateral trade between the counties.  In terms of the TDCA a Joint Council of Economic consultations should be established with the aim of strengthening of bilateral trade.

Bilateraltradeamounted to approximately R183 861 million, with the trade balance in favour of South Africa during 2007.  The sharp increase in trade during 2006 and 2007 was mainly due to the increased exports of coal to Bulgaria.

South African trade for the period 2005 – 2007 ( R’000)

Year Import Export Trade Balance Total Trade Annual Growth%
2005 39 536  26 817   -35,216  66 353 +28%
2006 75 853  40 490 42,835  116 343  +75%
2007  70 549  113 312 240,718 183 861 +58%
2008 (Jan- March 2008) 8,862     33,030  24,168   41 892  

Main exports to Bulgaria includemineral products, wool, citrus and deciduous fruit, tobacco, granite, plaster and cement, chromium ores and prepared foodstuffs.

Main imports from Bulgaria include chemical products, machinery and mechanical appliances, automotive parts, vegetable products, prepared foodstuffs, textiles and plastic articles.

There are also approximately five established importers of South African wines in Bulgaria, mostly sourcing from wine makers in the Western Cape. More importantly, the competitiveness of South African wines and their share of the Bulgarian wine market is growing. Some of the importers of South African wine are looking at introducing tours of the South African wine route as a new product in the Bulgaria.

Bulgaria has identified the following sectors for possible cooperation with South African companies: construction services (roads, railways, airports, housing etc); tourism, including tourism infrastructure; the pharmaceutical sector and energy.

Bulgaria is known for its expertise in the fields of science and technology.  It is proposed that the two countries explore possible areas of cooperation in the electro-technical field (particularly software development) and skills sharing within the framework of ASGISA and JIPSA.

Media Programme for visit to South Africa by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Ivailo Kalfin

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

12 February 2009



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