Hungarian-Philippine cooperation to enter new phase, says foreign minister in Philippines
Manila, March 27 (MTI) – Cooperation between the Philippines and Hungary will enter a new phase with the reopening of Hungary’s embassy in Manila and the conclusion of several agreements, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said on Monday.
Economic cooperation with the Philippines is “highly beneficial” as that country offers a market of 100 million people and excels with its annual growth rate of 6.8 percent even in Asian terms. Further, the Philippines holds the rotating presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year, Szijjártó told MTI over the phone.
“To intensify its presence in the region, Hungary has decided to reopen its embassy after a 22-year interval,” he said.
The two countries will sign an inter-chamber cooperation agreement. Hungary will open a 510 million euro credit line to boost its exports to the Philippines. Further, it will advocate that the European Union and the Philippines should conclude a free trade agreement as soon as possible, Szijjártó said.
Hungarian export to the Philippines increased by 25 percent over the past two years, the minister said, mentioning the sale of Hungarian meat and water management systems as prospective fields of cooperation.
Szijjártó said that Hungary granted scholarship to 35 Philippine students a year.
Szijjártó held talks with his counterpart Enrique Manalo and Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana, and made a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte.