By today a strategic partnership has been built between Hungary and Azerbaijan – everything is given for the companies of the two countries to take advantage of this cooperation, stated Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó during the Hungarian–Azerbaijani Business Forum in Budapest. The Ambassadors of the two countries, the managers and staff of several companies and foreign trade institutions also participated in the event. Ambassador János Hóvári, the Executive Head of the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States in Budapest also delivered remarks at the Forum.
In his welcoming address, Péter Szijjártó emphasized that by today predictable and reliable relations have become extremely precious, and the ties between the two countries can be characterized exactly like this. “We would like to see as many Hungarian and Azerbaijani economic players as possible to be able to take advantage of the strategic partnership between the two countries. Especially today, when the world economy has twice turned upside down within a short period of time,” underlined the Minister.
The representatives of governments have to provide five conditions for the cooperation of the stakeholders in the economy, and in the case this has already been achieved. Péter Szijjártó stressed that the cooperation between Hungary and Azerbaijan is free of all problems of any kind. Concerning the financial aspects, he believed that they were already given, since the Eximbank of Hungary has opened a USD140million credit line in order to finance the cooperation among the companies. As far as the legal conditions were concerned, the Minister stated that thanks to the Agreement on Protection Investments in force, the contracts are safe. People-to-people contacts are greatly promoted by the fact that each year Hungary provides students from Azerbaijan with 200 scholarships at our universities.
At the same time, Péter Szijjártó found the physical links important as well which is offered by the two flights per week of Wizz Air between Budapest and Baku. Progress is demonstrated by the fact that MOL Group possesses significant investments in Azerbaijan, and Richter Gedeon is also boosting its deliveries of medicine, while HELL Energy is gaining market share for its soft drinks in the framework of contract manufacturing. “So we do have flagships and Hungarian success stories as far as Azerbaijan is concerned,” pointed out the Minister.
“Mutual trust and friendship” is also demonstrated by Azerbaijan soon contributing to the security of the energy supply of Hungary – natural gas from Azerbaijan will appear on the Hungarian market already this year. Péter Szijjártó also said that under a bilateral agreement Hungarian firms will also be taking part in the reconstruction of the region of Karabakh which had been devastated by war. The Hungarian companies may be given the opportunity to conduct building operations in the field of the infrastructure of transport, health, public utilities, urban development, water management, as well as the rebuilding of the institutions.
In his remarks, János Hóvári spoke about his personal experiences that he gained during his visit to Karabakh last September. As he said, at that time he met and held discussions with the officials who were responsible for the reconstruction of Karabakh and who said that they expected the participation of Hungary in this work.