Sofia, January 21 (MTI) – Hungary and Bulgaria have agreed to set up an economic mixed committee, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after his talks in Sofia on Thursday.
He told MTI over the phone that he had met the Bulgarian prime minister, Boyko Borisov, the foreign minister, Daniel Mitov, and the economy minister, Bozhidar Lukarski, to discuss bilateral relations and the challenges Europe is facing.
Hungarian companies have expressed growing interest in Bulgarian market opportunities and OTP Bank, he said, noting that drug maker Richter and electronics maker Videoton are already present in the country. Bilateral trade exceeded 1 billion euros by the end of October last year, up by 9 percent over the previous year, he said.
Hungary received a letter from the European Commission on Wednesday giving Hungary the go-ahead to call a public procurement tender for a direct flight connection between Budapest and Balkan capitals. If this procurement is successful, hopefully direct flights to Sofia can start from early 2017, Szijjarto said.
Unfortunately for Hungary, he said, the building of the South Stream gas pipeline is off the agenda, but the Hungarian government welcomes another decision by the commission on financially supporting gas network link-ups between Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. This way, the southern gas corridor would be connected to central Europe, he added.
The foreign ministries of Hungary and Bulgaria support the idea of creating an official day for Hungarian-Bulgarian friendship, which a Bulgarian lawmaker initiated on Wednesday.