Islamabad: Pakistan and Bulgaria have agreed to expand collaboration in the field of maritime affairs with the signing of an agreement.
Pakistani Ambassador Mariam Aftab and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policies and Minister of Transport and Communications Hristo Aleksiev signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Maritime Cooperation in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, on May 29.
“The signing of this MoU will help the two countries formalise their collaboration in the field of maritime affairs,” the Pakistan embassy in Bulgaria said in a statement. Under the agreement, the two countries will “expand and deepen cooperation” in maritime transport and facilitate liaison between their maritime affairs departments. The MoU also aims to increase private sector awareness and cooperation, create mutually beneficial economic opportunities, and promote investments in this important field.
Ambassador Mariam Aftab stated that this initiative is a significant milestone in continuously strengthening bilateral relations, particularly benefiting the maritime authorities of Pakistan and Bulgaria. “Maritime transport is an exceedingly important part of trade and economic cooperation,” Aftab said, emphasizing that the new agreement will deepen cooperation in this crucial area.
Bulgarian official Aleksiev mentioned that this is the first bilateral agreement in the sphere of transport between the two countries. He expressed hope that it would serve as a major step in building good relations between Sofia and Islamabad. The maritime cooperation accord will result in better transport cooperation, improved customs and port services, and increased trade in maritime transport. It will also improve working conditions for the crews of Pakistani and Bulgarian-flagged merchant ships, he added.
Bulgaria is situated in Southeastern Europe and the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. In April 2023, Pakistani and Bulgarian officials held the fifth round of bilateral political consultations in Sofia to discuss ways to further enhance cooperation in diverse fields. They also explored the prospects of addressing the existing labour shortage in Bulgaria by increasing the number of Pakistani workers within the country.