Ulaanbaatar, July 15 (MTI) – Europe must establish strategic cooperation with Asian countries if it is to regain its competitiveness, Hungary’s foreign minister said on Friday.
Europe is facing its biggest challenges in terms of the economy, energy security and migration since the Second World War, Péter Szijjártó told MTI from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where he is taking part in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.
Europe will only be able to overcome its challenges if it starts cooperating with the fastest-growing Asian economies, he said.
Strategic cooperation between Europe and Asia will require the signing of free trade deals so that investments and trade are not hampered by bureaucratic barriers, he added.
Hungary urges the European Union to sign free trade agreements with Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand as soon as possible, he said. The minister also called for transport investments that could shorten transport times between the two continents.
Szijjártó also stressed the importance of regional cooperation, noting that the agreement between central Europe and China could serve as a good basis for European-Asian cooperation.
He said Hungary’s trade turnover with Asian countries was growing “dynamically”, adding that new export permits granted to Hungary by China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam could further increase Hungarian exports to the region.
Photo: MTI/AP/Damir Sagolj