(MTI) – Kazakhstan is a strategic partner for Hungary and the potential areas for cooperation include agriculture, modernisation in the manufacturing sector, pharmaceuticals and health industry, vehicle manufacturing, Hungarian technology export and tourism, economy minister Mihaly Varga said on Tuesday.
Varga, who is also the head of the Hungarian-Kazakh inter-governmental mixed committee, told an economic forum organised by the Hungarian Chamber of Trade and Industry’s Hungarian-Kazakh division that Kazakhstan’s restrictions on the employment of foreigners still poses problems. Hungary would like to see changes in this area and also calls for the easing of veterinary restrictions and more flexibility in public road shipping quotas, he added.
It is a common goal to help businesses reach the market in each other’s countries, he said and noted that 20 agreements were approved to this end at the latest mixed committee meeting.
Varga said efforts are being made to have direct air links between the two countries before the end of the current government term and preferably within two years. This is currently hindered by European Union regulations but an agreement can hopefully be made with the EU authorities, he said.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan Nurbakh Rustemov told the forum that his country’s GDP increased from 1,500 US dollars per person in 1998 to 13,000 dollars last year. Direct capital investment in Kazakhstan has totalled 160 billion dollars and the visa requirement was lifted for citizens of the ten most active investor countries this year, he added.