Budapest, October 12 (MTI) – Budapest has been awarded the right to host the World Export Development Forum in 2017, Hungary’s foreign minister told MTI on Wednesday.
Péter Szijjártó, who is attending the 16th forum in Sri Lanka, said winning the right to host the next one was a major commendation for Hungary.
Hungary is an open economy whose strength depends greatly on investments and exports, the minister said. Therefore any event that increases Hungary’s visibility in the area of foreign trade contributes to its economic growth, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary supports free trade.
The digital revolution, as a new phase of the global economy, carries greater significance than the industrial one, he said in his address, adding that all countries must embrace the new “economic-industrial-trading age” to be successful.
Hungary has “put its foreign policy in the service of its foreign economic objectives” as well as crafting a digital trading platform for businesses and private individuals dubbed Digital Hungary.
Szijjártó held bilateral talks on the sidelines with Sri Lanka’s prime minister, foreign minister and trade minister, as well as with the deputy head of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB).
He noted bilateral cooperation in water management and near completion of two hydroelectric power plants in Sri Lanka overseen by a Hungarian contractor. Water management will continue to be a key area of bilateral economic cooperation, Szijjarto said, adding that Hungary’s Eximbank will open a 68.8 million dollar credit line for exporting Hungarian water management technologies to Sri Lanka.
Szijjártó said it was agreed that Sri Lanka would back Hungary’s candidacy for membership in the UN Human Rights Council in 2017-2019.