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Fri 18 May 2012 11:14 AM

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Qatar's $200m pledge on Bulgaria investment

Qatari PM says Gulf state will leave $200m deposit with Bulgaria as sign of future intentions

Qatar's $200m pledge on Bulgaria investment
Qatars Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani. (AFP/Getty Images)

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jabr Al Thani has said his country will leave a $200m deposit with the Bulgarian central bank as a sign of his government’s “serious intentions” to invest in the Balkan nation.

“Qatar is considering investing in farms, building resort villages and road constructio projects, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov told a news conference in Sofia on Thursday.

Separate memorandums of understanding were also signed for cooperation in the farming, cattle-breeding, food trade, spa and tourism, real estate, mining, health and culture sectors.

"I hope to see the launching of concrete projects by the end of this year," the Qatari premier said in comments published by AFP.

In March, Bulgaria's economy and energy minister, Traicho Traikov, resigned from his role after returning from a business forum in Qatar intended to stimulate investment in the former Eastern bloc nation.

The event, held in Doha, saw 103 Bulgarian firms send delegations to Qatar, but backfired embarrassingly when no Qataris attended, despite 500 being invited.

Traikov, whose speech opened the forum, handed in his resignation shortly after returning to Bulgaria.

Last year, it was reported that Qatar was eyeing plans to build a new receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas in Europe with Bulgaria a possible location.

Qatar, which owns stakes in LNG-receiving terminals in the UK, the US and the Adriatic Sea near Italy, is looking for new markets to sell its fuel.

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