In Tashkent Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó announced that Hungary and Uzbekistan are launching a program of cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, water management, agriculture, as well as border control, which will create opportunities for the Hungarian companies in the fast developing Central Asian country.
During the press conference after the 7th session of the Hungarian–Uzbek Intergovernmental Committee on Economic Cooperation, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade pointed out: development on a monumental scale is going on in Uzbekistan, the majority of which is implemented in branches in which the Hungarian technology is in the vanguard of the world. “For this reason, we are launching a wide-ranging program which will open opportunities for the competitive companies of Hungary to become successful on the extremely fast developing Uzbek market.” One of the main fields of this is nuclear energy. The nuclear power plant being planned in Uzbekistan could be built with a cooling system from Hungary in the framework of a EUR300–400 million project. Besides this, Uzbek experts on nuclear energy could also be trained in Hungary which is facilitated also by the fact that in the future – instead of the current 100 scholarships – 170 will be granted to students from Uzbekistan. The Minister also underlined: from the point of view of the security of supply, nuclear energy plays a key role in Hungary, and the composition of the energy mix is a national competence. For this reason, it is important that the European Union has reiterated several times that nuclear energy is fully exempted from the sanctions against Russia.
Péter Szijjártó named border control as the second field of cooperation, with a special view to the proximity of Afghanistan. As the Minister said: “It is an important European interest to avert further waves of migration which provide opportunities for terrorism and extremists ideologies to spread.” In connection with this, Péter Szijjártó urged that the European Union should double the funds earmarked for the border control of the countries of Central Asia.
The Minister also touched on the field of water management and agriculture in which the Hungarian technology is also preeminent. He added that the Agreement on establishing the Anti-Drought Institute of the Organization of Turkic States will soon be reached. Both Sides have already profited a lot from the cooperation between Hungary and Uzbekistan, and this has a great significance from the point of view of the economy, security and technology.
Péter Szijjártó also stressed that the volume of bilateral trade increased by 48%, while the value of it reached USD110 million already last year. In order to achieve a further increase, the Eximbank of Hungary has opened a credit line of EUR105 million. Besides the Proceedings of the Session, the Sides have also signed the Protocol to the Agreement of the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Program, as well as an MOU on cooperation in the field of tourism.
Péter Szijjártó held meetings with the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, the Deputy Prime Minister responsible for investment and foreign trade, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Innovative Development, the Minister of Higher and Medium Education, as well as, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage.