Budapest, July 6 (MTI) – Cultural and scientific diplomacy are major components of Hungary’s competitiveness, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told an annual meeting of the directors of Hungarian cultural institutes abroad on Wednesday.
He also insisted that 2015 was “Hungary’s most successful year” in foreign trade, and part of the reason was that cultural and scientific diplomacy were integrated into the new structure of the ministry alongside trade affairs in 2014.
“The further afield, the greater the role culture plays in shaping the country’s image,” he said at the Balassi Institute. Culture also plays an important role in preserving the strength of the nation, boosting ties among nations and resolving conflicts, he said.
Through cultural and scientific diplomacy “we want to form brands that present Hungary’s national history and its roots while clearly showing that we can meet the requirements of the modern world,” he said.
Central funding will support international performances by the Budapest Operetta Theatre and composer-pianist Balazs Havasi. Szijjártó also pledged funding to the Budapest Festival Orchestra to ensure that none of its international concerts are cancelled for financial reasons.
Commenting on recently announced institutional changes, Szijjártó said the Balassi Institute would continue functioning under the auspices of the foreign ministry with the same staff numbers as at present.
Fully 24 Hungarian cultural institutes operate abroad, he noted.