Budapest, April 13 (MTI) – Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign affairs and trade minister, on Wednesday signed an agreement with his Kenyan counterpart, under which the two countries will develop closer political and economic ties.
Szijjártó told MTI over the phone that Hungary and Kenya will sign an economic cooperation agreement later this year.
Under the agreement, Hungary and Kenya will also intensify consultations between their foreign ministries.
The two countries agreed that Hungary will offer scholarships to fifty Kenyan university students who could then begin their studies in Hungarian universities in the autumn.
Hungary will take on a key role in Kenya’s trade development strategy, serving as a regional centre in the country’s trade with central European and western Balkan countries. The agreement means there is a good chance that Kenya will open its next embassy in Hungary, Szijjártó said.
The minister said Kenya’s economy presented investment opportunities for Hungarian companies in the fields of public transport, water management, agricultural engineering and the medical technology industry. He said a team of Hungarian and Turkish doctors will travel to Kenya this year to work toward reducing child mortality.
Szijjártó said Hungary’s Eximbank will open a 70 million dollar credit line to support the business activities of Hungarian companies in Kenya.
As regards EU-Africa economic cooperation, Szijjártó expressed Hungary’s support for the soon-to-be signed trade deal between the EU and the East African Community.
On another subject, Szijjarto said that if East African defence forces fail to defeat the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, hundreds of thousands of people could be forced to leave their homes, which could trigger another migration wave into Europe. Hungary therefore supports the European Union’s military training mission in Somalia to which Hungary also contributes soldiers, the minister said.