Hungary wants to increase economic and investment cooperation with Vietnam: Foreign and Trade Minister Szijjártó

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam and Hungary have agreed to boost comprehensive cooperation across various fields, focusing on economics, trade, and investment to mark 70 years of bilateral diplomatic relations this year. This week, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó gave VOV an exclusive interview on the cooperation potential between the 2 countries and Hungary’s plans to increase economic, trade and investment cooperation with Vietnam.

Reporter: Hello, Minister Péter Szijjártó. Thank you for granting VOV this interview.

Minister: Thank you for the invitation. Happy to be here!

Reporter: What do you think of cooperation potential between Hungary and Vietnam? What are the most promising fields?

Minister: You know Hungary ranks only number 92 globally of population but ranks number 34 when it comes to exports and ranks number 18 when it comes to pharmaceutical exports. So it's not a wonder that because of the big share of exports in the pharmaceutical sector, we would like to increase our presence in your market. On the other hand, you know Hungarian food industry products are very popular around the globe. This is not just because they are tasty. This is because they are healthy as well because we have put into the Hungarian Constitution that our food industry products must be free of GMO which means that if you buy Hungarian food, you can be sure that it's not only delicious but healthy as well. Based on that we hope that the import ban which was imposed on Hungary's poultry and pork export to Vietnam will be lifted soon. These are the areas where we would like to increase our cooperation and we understand that you put a lot of emphasis on space research as well. This is the same in Hungary. This can be a new area, very interesting and very progressive area of cooperation.

Reporter: What do you think of the achievements in economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries so far? Are they on par with our potential?

Minister: So far I think we can be satisfied given the fact that the Hungarian companies are now building a big huge 5,500-bed oncological hospital in Can Tho City. We can be proud of the investment of a Hungary poultry processing company in the neighborhood of Hanoi. We can be proud of the water purification plant in Quang Binh. We can be proud of the population registration system what we have established here. So I think we can be satisfied but satisfaction does not mean that you wouldn't want to reach more. Satisfaction should be a good basis for a further improved performance.

Reporter: What are Hungarian investors interested in Vietnam?

Minister: Well actually the pharmaceutical sector is definitely an area where Hungarian companies have shown interested recently. The biggest Hungary pharmaceutical company which is partly state owned has been present on your market for a long time now. Of course, they understand that in order to increase exports, some localization could be needed. The Hungarian poultry processing company decided to increase the capacity here. Those companies which are active on the field of water management hope that we can agree with the Vietnamese government on the further project in the framework of the big credit lines/preferential credit lines because then they could stay on the market and they might be able to win a market basis as well.

Reporter: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement took effect in early August. What are the opportunities for trade and investment relations between Vietnam and Hungary in the new context?

Minister: Both Hungary and Vietnam represent open economies so for both of us free and fair global trade is falling into our interest. Hungary was the first one to ratify, by the way, last year. It means we have shown our keen interest this agreement to enter into force. We are supportive towards such kind of agreements because we are competitive, we are not afraid of anything on the international markets, so the less obstacles there are is the best for Hungarian companies and the Hungarian products and services to reach out to foreign markets.

Reporter: Thank you for granting VOV this interview. That was Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. We wish you all the best in life and work.

Minister: Thank you. You are welcome!