Hungary and Vietnam boosting cooperation

08:43 | 16/10/2017 MUTRAP Corner

(VEN) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited Vietnam last month, confirming that his country considers Vietnam an important strategic partner in Southeast Asia. “According to our strategic analysis, over the next 30 years, Vietnam’s development potential is great,” Orbán said at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

hungary and vietnam boosting cooperation
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán

Hungary attaches importance to cooperation with Vietnam in various fields in order to bring the 67-year relationship between the two countries to new heights.

He also said that Hungary has advantages in areas that can provide good support for Vietnam such as health services, farming, animal husbandry, food hygiene and safety, water resource management and information technology.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told participants at the press conference that the two sides exchanged ideas on promoting bilateral cooperation, especially in trade and investment. In addition, other important areas such as finance, culture, agriculture, information technology, traffic safety, vocational training and environmental protection were also raised.

PM Phuc expressed his belief that the visit would create a momentum for the two countries to bring their relationship to new heights, adding that Vietnam attaches importance to developing the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with countries in Eastern and Central Europe, including Hungary which is one of Vietnam’s effective partners in the region.

PM Phuc stressed Hungary regards Vietnam as a partner of priority in development assistance with US$570 million in preferential loans, and thanked the Hungarian government for supporting Vietnam in building the Can Tho Tumor Hospital.

The two government leaders agreed economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary has seen growth, but the results were modest in comparison to potential. The two leaders agreed to further improve the effectiveness of the joint commission on economic cooperation, strengthen trade and investment promotion, facilitate business connectivity and market research especially in areas in which Hungary has strength and Vietnam has demand, such as water resource management, environmental protection, pharmaceuticals, animal husbandry, food processing and renewable energy.

hungary and vietnam boosting cooperation

According to statistics compiled by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade turnover between Vietnam and Hungary in the first six months of 2017 reached US$145 million, an increase of more than 60 percent compared to a year ago. Vietnam mainly exports garments and textiles, footwear, computers, electronic products and components, vehicles and spare parts to Hungary, while importing pharmaceuticals, machinery, spare parts, chemicals and animal feed.

As of the end of 2016, Hungary had 15 valid foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of US$50.66 million, ranking 55th among 105 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Hungary’s investment projects in Vietnam focus on the manufacturing and processing sector with total capital of US$41.82 million, followed by communications with US$5.87 million and real estate with US$2 million.

The two sides signed a framework agreement on financial cooperation worth €60 million for investment project in the Can Tho Tumor Hospital in early 2016, and a framework agreement on credit cooperation worth of €440 million for such projects as water resource management, pharmaceuticals, health, information technology, agriculture, and security-defense in January 2017.

In the framework of the visit, the two countries signed 10 cooperation documents in the fields of finance, agriculture, information and communications technology and education. PM Phuc thanked the Hungarian government for increasing the annual number of scholarships for Vietnamese students to 200.

Some 3,000 Vietnamese students have studied in Hungary over the years and returned to serve the country. Hungary also has a community of several thousand Vietnamese who are well-integrated in Hungarian society.

A Hungarian delegation to Vietnam, headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, consisted of 70 enterprises in the fields of agricultural services, mechanical tools for agriculture, agricultural product processing, agricultural waste treatment, factory construction, heavy industry and light industry. They expressed an interest in business opportunities in the Vietnamese market.

Nguyen Huong & Nhat Quang