Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria. It is an important economic, cultural and transport center, also serving as the administrative center of Plovdiv Province. It was formerly called Philippoupolis. Plovdiv is situated in the upper reach of Maritsa River and on the northern side of Rhodope Mountains. Originally, it was a Thracian settlement. In the 4th century B.C., Macedon built it into a military fortress. The city, frequently affected by wars and earthquakes, once experienced many ups and downs. In 1885, it became part of Bulgaria. The Belgrade-Istanbul Express passes through the city, making it the largest transport and business center in the southern part of Bulgaria. The industry boomed after the World War I. After the World War II, further development was achieved in such industries as food processing, tobacco, textile and leather making, followed by the emergence of machinery, electrical equipment and chemical industries. Its products mainly include car, electromotor, and hydroelectric equipment, timber processing machinery, medicine, clothes and leather. In suburban area, there is developed agriculture. And in downtown area, there are colleges and universities offering agriculture, medicine, teacher education and food engineering courses. In addition, research institutes engaged in vegetable, pomology and food science, and others like museums, libraries and opera houses are also located in town. Many historical sites can be found in old city proper.
In the 4th century, it was the capital of Macedon, and then developed into an important administrative and military center in the 14th century. In 1878, Plovdiv was made the capital of Eastern Rumelia. In the 1880s, Edirne-Istanbul Railway was opened, which made the city an important business center along the way from central Europe to Asia Minor. The city is situated in an agricultural area of fabulous wealth in the mid-southern part. Maritsa River runs through the city, with major industrial areas located on the northern side. The expo for daily and industrial goods is held twice a year in Spring and Autumn in Plovdiv. It has been like this since 1993. An ancient open-air theater of Rome dating back to more than 1500 years ago was discovered on suburban hills. Now, it has been restored to its original appearance, a semi-cylinder-shaped architecture of classic Greek style. Its stage is 3.1 meters high, and there are 3500 marble seats.
Contacts between Changchun and Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Since 2009 to 2011, Changchun and Plovdiv, Bulgaria, have maintained contacts:
In 2009, at the invitation of Bulgarian Foreign Investment Agency, Director General Wang Yu of Changchun Foreign Affairs Office and his delegation paid a goodwill visit to Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
In July 2010, at the invitation of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Changchun Municipal People’s Government sent a goodwill delegation to Plovdiv. During the visit, Director Chen Li of Changchun Foreign Affairs Office and Mayor Slavcho Atanasov of Plovdiv signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing sister city partnership between Changchun and Plovdiv. The two sides also reached a consensus on giving each other sculptures after sister city relationship agreement was signed.
In November 2010, at the invitation of Changchun Municipal People’s Government, Mayor Slavcho Atanasov of Plovdiv and his economic and trade delegation paid a goodwill visit to Changchun. During the 5-day visit, Mayor Cui Jie of Changchun and Mayor Slavcho Atanasov of Plovdiv signed an agreement on establishing sister city relationship between the two cities.
On November 10, 2010, Bulgarian Real Estate Group discussed the possibility of cooperating with Xingyu Group and Yatai Group of Changchun on such projects as industrial park, logistics center and hotel, and agreed that cooperation would be carried out after further inspections and contacts.
On November 11, 2010, Todoroff, the most prestigious red wine group in Bulgaria, signed a letter of intent for cooperation with Changchun Ruifeng Group. Todoroff agreed to provide Changchun 790 cases of red wine, and to set up a manor in Changchun.
On November 11, 2010, Bulgaria’s canned food and beverage companies talked with Changchun Yuanfang Group, agreeing to provide Yuanfang Group canned products such as dairy products, juice and organic, harmless articles for washing. Quantity would be discussed in the next step.
On November 12, 2010, Bulgarian Rose Cosmetics discussed with Changchun Feifei Economic and Trade Co., Ltd., Shanghai Hongda Cosmetics, and Honghai Business and Trade Co., Ltd. of Jilin Province the possibility of cooperating in export of rose essential oil.
On November 13, 2010, an advisor of Bulgarian Government (also a leader of a big hospital) held talks with Changchun Victory Co., Ltd. on buying medical equipment and on importing/exporting medical care, health preservation and hi-tech biological products. The two sides agreed to make further contact.