Minister Daniel Mitov held a meeting with newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Bulgaria, based in Bucharest, Kevin Hamilton. The two discussed bilateral economic cooperation, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and visa-free travel.
Minister Mitov stressed the priority importance of deepening economic cooperation through intensifying trade relations and attracting investments in many areas of mutual interest. "Bulgaria appreciates CETA's role in this context, but first and foremost, we expect clear guarantees for visa-free travel for the Bulgarians so they can benefit from the full potential of the agreement." Only such an approach would ensure an equal playing field for Bulgarian economic entities.
Minister Mitov welcomed the stated readiness of the Canadian government to waive visas for Bulgarians in 2017, but emphasized the need to specify the parameters and to reaffirm this position as appropriate before CETA is signed. He suggested to Ambassador Hamilton specific forms of officializing the Canadian position. For his part, Ambassador Hamilton expressed a readiness to coordinate the joint efforts on the matter.
The sides also discussed aspects of bilateral partnership in security and defence within NATO, as well as cooperation in other international organizations.