by Marian Draganov
SOFIA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Europe should build business bridges with China, especially in the high-tech sector, and benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, a Bulgarian entrepreneur has said.
Plamen Russev, an investor in tech companies, said in a recent interview with Xinhua that Europe needed to build a very strong and clear relationship with China.
Europe perceives China as a strategic partner and they need to build better relations, work more on the Belt and Road Initiative, and create value for both sides, said Russev, who is the founder and executive chairman of Global Webit Series.
"Seven years ago, Europe produced 32 percent of the global GDP. Currently, Europe produces 23 percent of the global GDP," Russev said. "We are talking about an over 30-percent decrease in the role of Europe in the world."
According to Russev, the Belt and Road Initiative is an amazing opportunity, both for China and for Central-Eastern Europe and particularly Bulgaria, to build a closer and better understanding for each other, and develop a very clear vision of how both sides can benefit.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to become a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.
So far, more than 100 countries and international organizations have joined the initiative and over 40 of them have cooperation agreements with China.
Speaking particularly about the potential for business between Bulgaria and China, Russev said that his country was famous for its achievements in mathematics and informatics. Meanwhile, Bulgaria is strategically located, friendly towards China, and has full access to EU markets, he said.
"And we are not using this in the best way. Together with China, we might start benefiting both for Bulgaria and for China in a much better way," Russev said.
The Chinese economy, a digital economy, is doing an amazing job, and it would be more than happy to start building bridges, working on common projects together, and making common products together, Russev said.
"We just need to use this time and to build up. Europe is ready. And Bulgaria could be a great ambassador and a great stop along the way," he said.