The Visegrád Group comprising Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia signed a memorandum of understanding on innovation cooperation with Israel in Jerusalem on Monday. Hungary’s foreign ministry state secretary also discussed bilateral relations with Israeli officials.
The MoU signed today will be applicable to all areas of V4-Israeli cooperation that the two sides have an interest in developing, Levente Magyar told MTI. The state secretary highlighted innovation in agriculture as the field he believed showed the most promise.
“Hungary and Israel face similar challenges in agriculture, mainly because of climate change and the increasingly hot summers,” Magyar said. “The solutions to these can only be found through strategic planning.”
Magyar noted Israel’s world-renowned drip irrigation system and greenhouse technologies, saying they could be viable solutions for Hungary.
“Another reason why this is so important is because agriculture is one of Hungary’s strategic sectors in which it will be important to increase and preserve our value added over the coming decades, the state secretary said. “To do so, we need just the kind of intensive technologies that Israel has.”
In addition to signing the MoU, Hungary will put together a bilateral work plan outlining specific areas of possible cooperation, Magyar said. He mentioned automation technologies currently being worked on by Israel as an example that could offer a solution to Hungary’s labour shortage woes even in the short run.
The work plan also touches on defence cooperation in the form of cybersecurity defence and counter-terrorism information sharing and training, Magyar said.
On the topic of Hungarian-Israeli ties, the state secretary said political relations between the two countries were now at a stage where they could not only be conflict-free and organised, but could also generate stronger economic and other kinds of partnerships.
Featured image: MTI