MOSCOW, April 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Bulgaria is interested in making the Black Sea region attractive for businesses and investments, Bulgarian Ambassador to Moscow Boyko Kotsev said on Wednesday.

The diplomat recalled that in January, Bulgaria had taken the chair at the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), uniting the countries surrounding the Black Sea – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

“Our main task during the chairmanship is to enhance confidence and stability in the region for the sake of economic development,” Kotsev said. “We want to make our common region attractive for businesses and investments.”

Apart from the economic issues, Bulgaria aimed to develop cooperation among the BSEC member states in the sphere of youth policy, he said. In April, Varna would host a special ministerial meeting devoted to the BSEC countries’ youth affairs. Besides, the BSEC members were actively working on a programme to improve the sea links between the countries of the Black Sea region.

Speaking about economic partnership, Kotsev stressed the importance of Russian-Bulgarian cooperation.

“We cooperate in the sphere of engineering, the pharmaceuticals industry, science and personnel training,” he said. “We would like some Bulgarian products to be returned to the Russian market, including our dairy products. There are plans to build a dairy processing plant, probably in Russia’s Kaluga Region.”

The diplomat noted that cooperation of small and medium-sized businesses offered great opportunities.

“We would like to organize a meeting of the two countries’ business communities in Bulgaria in the first six months of 2014,” he said. “Seventy-five Russian enterprises have already expressed interest in their Bulgarian partners’ proposal. It is very important that we have necessary financial structures to develop cooperation between Russian and Bulgarian business people.

Bulgaria’s ambassador to Russia has noticed tourism cooperation between the two countries develops successfully.

“In 2013 seven hundreds of Russian citizens visited Bulgaria. I hope that in 2014 the flow of Russian tourists will increase by 15-20%, in addition to Russian citizens, who own real estate in Bulgaria,” Boyko Kotsev said on Wednesday.

“The embassy is planning to accelerate visa issuance procedures. I believe that soon it will take no more than two or three days to receive a visa,” he said.

“There are 23 visa centres in Russia,” Kotsev said, adding that Bulgaria “is planning to open four consulates. The first one will be opened in Yekaterinburg.