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China launches farm project in Bulgaria
by Staff Writers
Sofia (AFP) Nov 17, 2011

China's Tianjin State Farms Agribusiness Group launched on Thursday its first project to grow 2,000 hectares ((4,900 acres) of crops in northwestern Bulgaria, the farming ministry said in a statement.

The company invested 10 million euros ($13.5 million) in the project to cultivate maize, alfalfa and sunflower in one of the EU's poorest regions around the northwestern village of Boynitsa, the ministry said.

The crops will be exported back to China.

Tianjin Agribusiness plans to pour another 20 million euros into Bulgaria's farming sector, the ministry said, adding that it was interested in developing cattle farming here.

Company chairman Bai Zhisheng and Chinee Deputy Farming Minister Gao Hongbin expressed hopes that Bulgaria could later turn into their gateway to Europe's markets.

The two officials also met Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who welcomed the investment as an important step to developing Bulgarian-Chienese economic ties, his office said.

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