Bulgarian Ambassador Petar Andonov, who has been in Tokyo since August 1998, said Friday that he wants to see Japanese Internet-based technology companies cooperating with Bulgarian firms. This is “very important” for the future development of the two countries’ economic relations and will make optimal use of his country’s many advanced computer software specialists, Andonov said during a visit to The Japan Times. Although Bulgaria’s exports to the European Union account for 55 percent of its global exports and it is expected to become a member of the EU in the near future, Sofia regards its relations with Japan as equally important in many ways, he said. Bulgarian wine exports to Japan have jumped seven-fold since 1994 and the country enjoys a trade surplus. Andonov said he is keen to attract more Japanese investment to his country, which enjoys political stability and had economic growth of 3.5 percent in 1998 and 5.5 percent in 1999, and has undergone structural reforms and introduced privatization, particularly since 1997. An economist by profession and previously an economics journalist for Bulgarian television and radio, Andonov emphasized that he strongly believes in the potential of the Japanese economy, given its advanced technology and the creativity of the Japanese people.

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