Petrich Municipality Administration, which presides over an area in the Bulgarian province of Blagoevgrad, last week issued a call for business proposals ahead of a visit by Meiji president, Kazuo Kawamura.
“Petrich Municipality Administration presents you an opportunity for the realization of investments in Blagoevgrad District offered by the Japanese company, Meiji,” says a translated version of invite sent to DairyReporter.com.
“…specific Bulgarian projects and proposals for investment will be discussed” during Kawamura’s visit to the region between April 7 and April, the statement added.
Petrich Municipality Administration was unable to provide any further details of the visit.
Meiji is Japan's largest dairy processor. It also manufactures chocolate, confectionery, pharmaceuticals, and infant formula.
DairyReporter.com approached Tokyo-based Meiji regarding the Petrich Municipality call for proposals, but no reply was forthcoming prior to publication.
Meiji has a long-standing association with Bulgaria.
Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt, produced using authentic Bulgarian starter cultures supplied by Sofia-based LB Bulgaricum, is sold in Japan, China, Thailand and Singapore.
The Japanese dairy has held a licensing agreement with LB Bulgaricum to produce and market Bulgarian yogurt since 1972.
In 2013, LB Bulgaricum and Meiji extended their agreement to 2040.
Last month, the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy called the cooperation between LB Bulgaricum and Meiji a "prerequisite for the promotion of Bulgarian dairy products in new and promising markets."
"The long-standing cooperation between LB Bulgaricum and Meiji creates opportunities for expansion of joint activities of the two companies and the entry of the traditional Bulgarian yogurt into new markets," said Lyuben Petrov, deputy Bulgarian economy minister, following a meeting with a Meiji representative.
He pinpointed Asia Pacific, North America, and South America as areas of potential expansion.