The incredible “city of the future” near Plovdiv

Shenzhen City Porter Business Management Co., Ltd. is a Chinese company with which the Plovdiv-based Sienit Business Group signed an agreement for joint construction and management of a Bulgarian-Chinese project in the Thracian Economic Zone near Plovdiv, the second largest Bulgarian city.

The signing (in Shenzhen, China) of the launch of Chinese-European pilot project for a global corporate city in Trakia Economic Zone in 2016. Source: new.bg-china-partners.com

The Chinese company wants to build a “city of the future” in a huge area near the village of Kalekovets. There, the Bulgarian company Sienit together with the Chinese planned a terrain for the development of a high-tech park for EUR 2 billion. It is not clear for now how much of the total investment will be from China. There is no official or unofficial data on how much money was invested up until now. The Chinese company and his Bulgarian partner stay silent about the amount of the money invested till the moment.

The owner of the land for the project is Sienit, who bought it from small private owners and partly from the municipalities. The idea is for Sienit to sell part of the land for any new project there and the Chinese company to sell know-how for the projects.

At a presentation in Plovdiv, company manager Chen Dzongjian presented the project, but did not go into detail exactly how this huge investment would be returned. According to him, it is a “trading platform” – something like an exhibition town where Chinese and European investors meet and do business, present goods and trade. Asked why Plovdiv and the area around it, Chen pointed out that Bulgaria is the first European step on the Silk Road, which China is currently actively rebuilding.

According to plans, the industrial city of Porter City will house 100,000 businesses in a huge trading platform, the first of its kind in Europe. According to the presentation, the project will benefit from financial transactions and the fact that all transactions between Chinese and European companies will go through its financial infrastructure. According to Chen, the difference with an online platform like Alibaba is that, up to Plovdiv, companies will be able to see the goods they are trading and will be able to negotiate face-to-face with their partners.

The project will cover an area of approximately 5 million square meters. The global city will be the European headquarters of China Shenzhen Porter Holdings Co., Ltd. and will enable manufacturers from all over the world (Europe, Middle East and Africa, Russia, and the CIS) countries to showcase their products and set up offices, shopping and logistics centres.

“Shenzhen City Porter Business Management Co. Ltd.” was founded in 1994 and has participated in 120 projects across China. There are currently 8 signed agreements for the construction of similar economic cities around the world, which are at different stages of their realization.

Chinese investors have repeatedly said that the project has high political support in China. Local authorities in Plovdiv and the Bulgarian government are also supportive, but mostly talking, there are no concrete favors done by local or national authorities for the Chinese.

 

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