Hungarian-Serbian relations are at peak strength on the political, economic, trade and investment fronts, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said on Wednesday.
At a press conference after a meeting of the Hungarian-Serbian mixed economic committee, Szijjártó noted that Serbia is Hungary‘s top partner in the Western Balkans. Mutual respect forms the basis of friendly relations between the two countries, he said. Last year, bilateral trade reached 2.5 billion euros, he added.
Goran Knezevic, Serbia’s economy minister, noted that
Hungary is Serbia’s sixth most important trading partner and its 13th biggest investor.
Speaking about concrete projects, Szijjártó noted Hungarian oil and gas company Mol’s over 110 million euro investment in Serbia, and acquisition of a Vojvodina bank and the Serbian subsidiary of Societe Generale by OTP, Hungary’s leading bank.
The government has provided a 46 billion forint (EUR 138m) grant to support Hungarian farmers and entrepreneurs in Serbia’s northernmost Vojvodina province resulting in investments worth 86 billion forints, Szijjártó said.
Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 110 million euro credit line to finance bilateral business cooperation, 50 million of which has already been laid aside for the upgrade of the Szeged-Subotica railway line, he said. The related agreement is expected to be signed before the end of this year, Szijjártó added.
Further, the government has earmarked a 10 billion forint grant to support Hungarian investments in southern Serbia, the foreign minister said.
In response to a question, Szijjártó confirmed
Hungary’s firm support for Serbia’s EU integration.
After the presser, Szijjarto presented Knezevic with the Hungarian Order of Merit, Middle Cross.