Budapest, June 1 (MTI) – Hungary will open five new embassies in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa within the next 18 months in a bid to boost relations, the foreign minister said on Monday.
There has been an economic uptick in Latin America and Africa in the recent past which could be turned to Hungary’s benefit, with the country exporting a lot more services to countries on these continents, Peter Szijjarto told a conference focusing on the foreign affairs strategy of southern opening in Budapest.
Hungary’s exports to Latin America and Africa currently amount to 2.3 percent, as opposed to the close to 5 percent by Germany and The Netherlands, he said.
Szijjarto said Hungary would seek to boost its exports in info-communications and water management services, and in engineering know-how to these regions.
To serve the southern opening strategy objective, Hungary will open embassies in Colombia and Peru, as well as in Angola, Ethiopia and Ghana, the minister said.
The number of honorary consuls representing Hungary in the two regions is planned to be increased by 11 to 68, with two serving in Latin America and nine in Africa, Szijjarto said.
Further, Hungary’s Eximbank will open a 3.7 billion dollar credit line to help Hungarian businesses in the two regions, he added.
The 2nd Hungary-Latin America forum will be held in October this year. This will serve as a platform for deepening inter-governmental, business and education cooperation, the minister said.
Hungary aims to conclude further economic cooperation pacts besides those already in place (only four countries on the two continents). It also seeks to conclude agreements on investor protection and the avoidance of double taxation with several countries there, he said.