Martonyi also held talks with Chilean counterpart Alfredo Moreno Charme and expressed thanks for keeping the Chilean embassy in Budapest open despite the closing of the Hungarian embassy in Chile in 2009, a statement by the ministry said.
Martonyi told Moreno that Hungary was paying increased attention to the Latin American region as part of its global opening and plans to strengthen cooperation with countries of the region in the areas of the economy, science and education.
The Stipendium Hungaricum programme, also available to Chile, serves to enhance relations in higher education, the ministry said.
Moreno urged the signing of an agreement that would enable young citizens to work on a temporary basis in each other’s country, and he asked Hungary’s support for upgrading an association agreement between the European Union and Chile. Martonyi gave him positive feedback on this, the statement added.
Martonyi also met representatives of the two-chamber Chilean congress and briefed them about Hungarian economic achievements and the changes under way in Hungary.
Chairman of the Senate Jorge Pizarro Soto briefed Martonyi on plans for the new Chilean centre-left government which enters office in March 2014.
President of the Chamber of Deputies Edmundo Eluchans Urenda said he would head a delegation of Chilean lawmakers to visit Hungary in the near future to strengthen ties between the parliaments of the two countries.
The meetings at the congress were also attended by Senator Antonio Horvath Kiss, of Hungarian descent, who heads the Hungarian-Chilean friendship division. He said the potential of Hungarian education and scientific capacities should be better introduced in Chile.
Hungarian exports to Chile in the past three years, starting from a low base, have grown. The reopening of the Hungarian embassy is expected to have a positive impact on trade turnover. In 2012, Hungarian exports amounted to 32.38 million dollars while imports came to 7.54 million. Hungary exports mainly office and household equipment as well as mobile telephones and technical device,s while Chile’s exports to Hungary mainly comprise cellulose and fruit and vegetables.
Some 500-1000 people of Hungarian descent live in Chile, several of them active in the business sector.