Hungary’s policy of opening up to the East has boosted its economy, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Wednesday at a meeting of businesspeople in Dushanbe. In Tajikistan, Richter is the largest European drug-maker and Hungarian water companies are among those making investments in the country, the minister said.
The strategic move of Hungary’s Eastern opening has “made a big contribution to the Hungarian economy’s good performance”, he said, adding that Hungarian exports had increased by 27 percent over the past five years, and exports to the East had broken records.
Szijjártó said that furthermore, most new investments in Hungary in the last seven years had come from China and South Korea.
Notwithstanding the coronavirus epidemic,
Hungarian exports were worth 104 billion euros last year,
putting Hungary’s export performance 34th in the world, even when is ranked 93rd by population.
The minister said Hungary-Tajikistan political relations were “settled” and neither country interfered in the other’s domestic affairs, adding that person-to-person relationships were being developed, with the Hungarian state providing scholarships to 20 Tajik students each year. This year 71 students already applied for 20 university places, he noted.
Hungary plans to open a consulate in Dushanbe,
and Hungary’s Eximbank is opening a 30 million US dollar credit line to foster ties between Tajik and Hungarian companies.
Also, as part of the country’s “flagship” project, a large Hungarian company – in this case drug-maker Gedeon Richter – is investing in Tajikistan to be followed by a flotilla of smaller companies.
Szijjártó is heading a delegation of representatives of Richter, the food industry, as well as electronics and water management companies to Central Asia, including Tajikistan.