Budapest, July 15 (MTI) – Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó met his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Ulaanbaatar to discuss bilateral ties, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
In their talks, held on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit, Szijjártó reassured Wang that the Hungarian government supports granting China market economy status.
Hungary rejects the European Union’s policy of putting pressure on China regarding its territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Szijjártó said, arguing that this conflict should be managed by the countries in the region and the EU’s involvement is a detriment to its peaceful resolution.
The ministers noted that Hungarian exports to China grew by 27.7 percent in the first four months of 2016 compared with the same period last year. The number of Chinese tourists in Hungary grew by 40 percent last year, they added.
Wang invited Szijjártó for an official visit to China later this year, the ministry said.
Szijjártó also met Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan to discuss the effects of Britain’s exit from the EU, the ministry said in a separate statement. The ministers agreed that the divorce talks cannot be treated as a matter of bureaucracy and that the EU’s strategy in the talks should be determined by member states. The ministers said Britain and the EU should maintain strong economic ties after Brexit.
Szijjártó on Friday discussed trade relations between the EU and other countries with his Thai and New Zealand counterparts, the ministry said.
Hungary urges the EU to continue its talks on a free trade deal with Thailand, Szijjártó said. Thailand has agreed to grant Hungary permits to export duck and goose meat to that country and an agreement was also reached on Hungary granting scholarships to 40 Thai university students.
Szijjártó and his New Zealand counterpart noted that Hungary recently opened an embassy in New Zealand. Hungary urges the EU and New Zealand to sign a partnership agreement this year, Szijjarto said. The ministers agreed to sign a double taxation avoidance agreement.
Szijjártó also held talks with his Pakistani colleague. He said Hungarian oil and gas company MOL’s increased presence in Pakistan makes that country an important economic partner for Hungary. The two countries plan to sign an economic cooperation agreement, the ministry said.