In light of rapid and deep global changes Europe will not be able to retain its competitiveness and ensure its security without an efficient cooperation with Asia, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told MTI by phone from Myanmar on Monday.
Szijjártó has arrived in Myanmar to meet foreign ministers under the auspices of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
The minister said that the fastest growing region of the world was in Asia, but added that developments in several other regions of the continent continually set off “huge waves of migration”, heading for Europe. Cooperation is needed to increase competitiveness and security, while such cooperation could yield large benefits to the European economy, he insisted.
Efforts for tighter economic cooperation could also contribute to remove the causes of migration and ease the pressure on Europe, he said.
Concerning Hungary’s Asia ties Szijjártó said that exports to ASEM members had increased by 20 percent in the first eight months of the year, amounting to over 4.5 billion euros. Hungary’s Eximbank has set up a fund of 12 billion euros to help Hungarian companies in Asian markets, and Hungary now provides tuition for nearly 2,000 Asian students, he added.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the minister had bilateral talks with his counterparts from Japan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Subjects at his negotiations included
hospital construction and water management, Hungary’s scholarship programmes for Asian students, food safety, and the digitalisation of personal identification cards.
Szijjártó also announced that Hungary would open a diplomatic representation in Cambodia, and launch a loan programme to assist tourism, food production, and water management projects.
featured image: MTI