The Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova met with the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai. The ambassador of the State of Israel to Bulgaria, HE Mrs. Irit Lilian, HE Mr. Dimitar Mihaylov, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the State of Israel and the Deputy Mayor of Sofia, Irina Savina attended the meeting.
“For years, Sofia and Tel Aviv have been friendly cities and we can draw on the experience of each other”, said the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai.
The mayors discussed the cooperation in the IT sector as well as the construction of the subway, water management and waste treatment.
Tel Aviv is currently building a subway and the first line is expected to be launched in 2021. Mr. Huldai accepted the invitation of Mayor Fandakova to visit Sofia together with experts from Tel Aviv to make themselves familiar with the construction of Sofia subway, which have expanded by more than 20 km in the recent years and the third line is currently in progress.
Tel Aviv and Sofia will work together to promote the IT sector and create start-ups. Recently, the IT sector has been one of the fastest growing industries. Sofia ranks among the top three European cities in start-ups in the IT sector, which attracts many young people, said Mayor Fandakova. Tel Aviv develops workshops for entrepreneurs, opens its data. Like Sofia, the municipality organizes hackathons. They attract many young entrepreneurs, who exchange ideas, create applications and propose innovative solutions. Tel Aviv works for the creation of zones with free Internet. Mayor Fandakova pointed out that Sofia Municipality established a Municipal Investment Agency, which has a special team to work with start-up companies. We have announced a funding programme for innovative start-ups. The mayors agreed the two cities to cooperate and share experience in the field of innovation and the IT sector.
Sofia will draw on the experience of Tel Aviv in the use and recycling of wastewater. Over 80% of household water in Tel Aviv is recycled and used for irrigation. In the recent years, we develop the green system of Sofia and build irrigation systems that help us to maintain our green parks until late autumn, said the Mayor of Sofia.
Fandakova also said that together with the Jewish community in Sofia and the Israeli ambassador to Bulgaria, we are joining efforts to promote tolerance. Sofia has many traditions in this regard and we work with the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom", chaired by Dr. Alexander Oscar.
Later, the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova and Deputy Mayor, Irina Savina visited the place in Tel Aviv, where will be a twin monument of the monument of salvation in Sofia dedicated to the Jewish community rescued in the years of the Second World War.
The Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova visited Israel as part of the delegation led by Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.