The relations between Qatar and Bulgaria have witnessed close co-operation since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Doha and Sofia on 16 October 1990.
In the context of these growing relations, Bulgaria opened its embassy in Doha in 2009, and after three years, in 2012 Qatar opened its embassy in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, and since then the relations between the two countries have developed and became stronger.
In 2009, the first official visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Bulgaria was to promote bilateral relations. The last visit was made last year by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and witnessed the signing of a number of co-operation agreements and memorandums of understanding between the two countries in various fields.
In an official visit to the country, President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev arrived in Doha yesterday. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the Bulgarian president will hold talks at the Amiri Diwan today, and they will discuss the friendly relations between the two countries, ways of developing them and a number of regional and international issues of common interest. Over the past few years, both countries have made efforts to lay the foundations of a modern rule of law aimed at intensive co-operation.
Relations between the two countries have been strengthened through mutual visits and active co-operation in various fields, both bilateral and multilateral.
More than 30 agreements and strategic arrangements have been signed between the governments of the two countries.
In those years, there have been many great efforts with strong co-operation between Qatar and Bulgaria.
In this context, ambassador of Qatar to Bulgaria Rashid bin Ali al-Khater said that Qatari-Bulgarian relations have been remarkable, and have witnessed overall development in recent years, pointing out the keenness of Qatar to strengthen them at all levels and in all fields to serve the interests of the Qatari and Bulgarian peoples.
He pointed out that the joint committee for economic co-operation between the governments of Qatar and Bulgaria has been established since 2009. The two countries have been able to strengthen their economic and trade relations, which is reflected in the continuous increase in the terms of trade between the two countries in recent years.
Ambassador al-Khater said that the two countries governments have been able to push forward bilateral co-operation in the economy through many bilateral agreements, stressing that Qatars foreign policy is based on peace, security, stability, co-operation and friendship between countries and peoples of the world.
The relationship between Qatar and Bulgaria has been strong for more than 27 years. The two countries have strong ties of mutual respect and trust.
Bulgaria offers the best expertise to companies operating in Qatar and elsewhere in many areas, and 500 Bulgarians are living in Qatar and working in different companies and institutions.
Last year, during the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Bulgaria, a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed in the fields of energy, sports and an agreement between Qatar University, Sofia University and another between Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bulgaria Chamber of Commerce.
A forum was organised for Qatari businessmen and their Bulgarian counterparts to discuss ways to enhance trade co-operation and discuss investment opportunities in both countries.
In 2012, the minister of state for foreign affairs visited Bulgaria accompanied by representatives of several Qatari government companies such as Qatari Diar, Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar Mining, Qatar Rail and Qatar National Hotels Company. On the Bulgarian side, the minister of economy and energy, the deputy minister of tourism and other officials participated to discuss investment opportunities in the field of infrastructure, mines, real estate and tourism.
The Qatari delegation also met with the executives of the Industrial Zones Corporation and the Bulgarian Energy Holding Company, where the Qatari side was briefed on the investment opportunities in the energy sector and the industrial zones.
Qatari investments are very important to Bulgarias economy in different sectors such as agriculture.
There are also Qatari companies operating in Bulgaria, producing and exporting poultry meat to Doha, and there are advanced contacts to discuss ways to enhance the work between Bulgarian and Qatari companies to invest in Qatar.
And this is an important step to strengthen relations between the two countries, especially with the presence of many Bulgarian companies operating in the field of infrastructure in Qatar.