Authors: Hongxing Cao, Huirong Zhan, Yuan Wang, Ziyao Wei
Since 2013, China has launched the “Belt and Road” Initiative adhering to “The Five-Connectivity Program”, which aims at achieving win-win results with the countries along the road. Meantime, “17+1” mechanism is an important regional platform that promotes cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. In this context, the Sino-Bulgarian economic relationships are constantly expanding and increasingly diversified in terms of foreign direct investment, trade, and cooperation of companies. There are increasing research interests and results of these two policies but there are still a lot of gaps to fill. The most pressing one is that more researches are needed about the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative and “17+1” mechanism on Central and Eastern Europe Countries, especially an individual country such as Bulgaria. Bulgaria was the second country that recognized and established diplomatic relations with China in 1949. Since then, Bulgaria and China have established a very good and strong relationship in different ways. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has brought many challenges for both Bulgaria and China, which has a deep impact on the bilateral economic relations. herefore, by searching the past ten years of SSCI literature in the database, this paper systematically sorts out the existing research on Sino-Bulgarian economic relations and makes a comprehensive review, reflecting the latest and changing landscape of the Sino-Bulgarian economic relations. Then by collecting, screening and analyzing the latest statistical data in multiple sources, this paper identifies the characteristics of FDI, the bilateral trade respectively. The purpose is to provide a guidance of the prospect of Sino- Bulgarian economic relations in the future. The paper establishes that the economic relations between the two countries have made great progress under this initiative and new mechanism but still remain unstable and far below their potential. Finally, the paper concludes that there is a very promising future for the bilateral economic relations even facing many challenges and risks in the post pandemic world.