Vice Minister Li Meng of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology met with Ivan Dimov, Deputy Minister of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and Lyuben Petrov, Deputy Minister of Economy in Sofia, the Capital of Bulgaria on November 24th, 2016. Both sides exchanged views and reached consensus on deepening cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.
When meeting Deputy Minister Dimov, Li briefed on the China’s Innovation-driven development strategy, especially the development of the innovation system and practices to drive economic growth in China with science and technology. He said that since the Chinese and Bulgarian governments signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation in 1955, the two sides have engaged in close exchanges in agriculture, ICT and medical science. With further implementation of the “Belt & Road” Initiative, China and Bulgaria have new opportunities of further cooperation. Li suggested that the two sides should further strengthen top-level design, expand people-to-people exchanges and pragmatic project cooperation, actively develop long-term cooperation platforms, so as to push forward bilateral cooperation. Deputy Minister Dimov fully agreed and said that while the European Union is Bulgaria’s main partner for international cooperation in science and technology at present, the Bulgarian side nevertheless directs great attention to the development of science and technology in China and is eager to expand exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese side, especially in the fields of aerospace, climate change and big data.
When meeting Deputy Minister Petrov, Vice Minister Li Meng said that Bulgaria is China’s traditional partner of science and technology cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. Given specific needs in both countries, the two sides should expand their cooperation to innovation. He introduced China’s innovation-driven development strategy and corresponding measures to facilitate innovative development. Li suggested that the two sides should support youth innovation and entrepreneurship, promote technological cooperation between enterprises and establish industrial cooperation platforms, and work together to push forward the transfer and translation of R&D results to serve economic development in both countries. Deputy Minister Petrov agreed. He said that the meeting was the first vice ministerial-level meeting between the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and thus his Ministry highlighted its importance. He noted that the Bulgarian side is willing to work with the Chinese side and expand bilateral cooperation in scientific and technological innovation so as to boost investment and trade volume. Geographically speaking, Bulgaria is in a strategic position connecting with Europe and enjoys fast economic growth and advantages of human resources. He hoped that the two sides could expand their cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship and that the Bulgarian side welcomes Chinese high-tech companies and their investment in Bulgaria.