The annual trade turnover between Hungary and Indonesia has risen by 29 percent over the last ten years, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday, adding that this showed that the Hungarian government’s policy of opening to the East was working.
Szijjártó, who is currently in quarantine having contracted coronavirus, told an online forum that Hungary and Indonesia had recently made progress in cooperation in the areas of water management and food processing. Hungary has opened a 36 billion forint (EUR 100.3m) credit line that will allow Hungarian companies to improve Indonesia’s water management solutions, he said.
Now the two countries are focused on improving their cooperation in the fields of cyber security and telecommunications, the minister said. Szijjártó encouraged Hungarian companies to make use of a new website, hunindotech.id, launched to boost business ties between the two countries.
Hungary’s Eximbank is prepared to provide the financial framework needed to advance cooperation between Hungarian and Indonesian firms, he said. Szijjártó encouraged Hungarian companies to be active on the Indonesian market, arguing that it was one of the largest markets in all of Southeast Asia and one of the fastest growing regions in the world.
Hungary has increased the number of scholarships it offers to Indonesian university students from an annual 50 to 100, he said.
The minister praised Indonesia’s contributions to the resolution of global affairs, noting its role in peacekeeping missions. Szijjártó noted that Hungary had supported Indonesia’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Commenting on bilateral ties, he noted that the two countries recently marked the 65th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that although the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic was still ongoing, it had helped highlight the potential in the digital economy. She cited UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying that more than 95 percent of the world’s population were now covered by mobile networks. Also, some 441 million people in the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), or 65 percent of the region’s population, are now using the internet, she added.
The minister said
Indonesia had a “very good” digital ecosystem, adding that its value could reach 133 billion US dollars by 2025.
Indonesia registered 2,001 startups in 2019, the fifth largest amount in the world, she said.
Retno praised the timing of the hunindotech.id website, saying it would provide significant opportunities for Hungary and Indonesia to strengthen their cooperation and present products and investments that serve them both.