|Scenic: The Belogradchik Cliffs (170km from Sofia) is a unique natural phenomenon, sculpted by natural forces over a period of more than 200 million years. In 2007, the Belogradchik Cliffs were nominated in the competition to select the New Seven Wonders of the World. — Photo courtesy of Bulgarian Embassy
On the occasion of the National Day of Bulgaria, March 3, Yordan Dimitrov, attache to the Bulgarian Embassy in Ha Noi, sketches a brief history of his country and tells Viet Nam News that Bulgaria and Viet Nam can use their respective memberships of the EU and ASEAN to good effect.
This year, Bulgaria cel-ebrates the 136th Anniver-sary of its Liberation from the Ottoman Empire and marks 1,333 years since its foundation back in the seventh century. One of the oldest countries in Europe, never changing its original name even once since 681AD, Bulgaria has managed to preserve its original culture, traditions and language while taking the best of its location at the crossroads of many of the earliest civilizations in Europe.
A wonderful mixture of history and modernity, of East and West, of sea and mountains, this beautiful country charms with distinctive ancient traditions and customs, millennial cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, pristine nature, amazing biodiversity and world class summer and winter tourism resorts.
The "country of roses" attracts more than 6,8 million tourists a year, who flock to its endless beaches, wild mountain ranges, green hills, fertile plains, gorges, rivers and natural springs.
Bulgaria is one of the most attractive destinations for people interested in history and culture. From the oldest gold ornament ever discovered in the World history, created by a mysterious civilization dating five thousand years ago near Varna, to the Thracian treasures scattered across Bulgarian museums, Bulgaria is perceived as country of treasures.
Frescoes in Thracian royal tombs dating 25 centuries ago, painted churches and monasteries from all denominations of Christianity are a feast for the eye and lasting evidence of the artistic genius and spirituality of the people living on the Bulgarian lands for millennia.
The importance of the rich cultural and natural legacy of Bulgaria to the world is reflected in the UNESCO recognition of nine national sites (seven cultural and two natural) as World Cultural Heritage.
Well known in Viet Nam
The extraordinary culture of Bulgaria is well known in Viet Nam, indeed in the hearts of the tens of thousands of Vietnamese people who studied and worked in Bulgaria over the last more than 40 years and who, while bridging both countries'cultures, are a strong asset for the future of co-operation between Bulgaria and Viet Nam.
During their time in Bulgaria, young Vietnamese people brought with them the unique and vibrant Vietnamese culture that captured the imagination of many Bulgarians. Today, mutual interest is still high in both countries, continuing to encourage the development and strengthening of these links so that the good mutual understanding, friendship, trust and respect remain through coming generations.
On the eve of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Viet Nam that we will celebrate in 2015, the traditional friendly and mutually beneficial bilateral relations are increasing steadily.
The state visit of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria to Viet Nam last October, to be followed in the near future by other high level official visits, marks the strong will and devoted efforts of the leadership of both countries to achieve a qualitative leap forward to a new stage in the development of bilateral relations – strategic partnership.
Actual trade turnover has increased in recent years but it is still far from reaching its full potential. To intensify economic co-operation, Bulgaria and Viet Nam last year declared their intention to develop a "New Model for Economic Co-operation", to create the necessary framework for joint efforts to increase, balance and diversify bilateral trade.
Moreover, in October 2013, the Bulgarian Embassy's Trade and Commercial Section in Viet Nam doubled its potential, opening its second Office in HCM City.
Construction and infrastructure, defense, energy, mining, agriculture, pharmaceutical, textile, education and training have been identified by both countries as priority sectors for enhancing economic co-operation in the near future.
Furthermore, given the membership of Bulgaria in the European Union and the membership of Viet Nam in ASEAN, both countries should consider the advantages and benefits of a more regional and multilateral approach, beyond the limits of co-operation at the bilateral level. — VNS