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Vietnam, Hungary target $2bn two-way trade, ink 3 cooperative deals

Vietnam, Hungary target $2bn two-way trade, ink 3 cooperative deals

Friday, January 19, 2024, 16:41 GMT+7
Vietnam, Hungary target $2bn two-way trade, ink 3 cooperative deals
Vietnamese PM Pham Minh Chinh (L, 2nd) and his Hungarian counterpart (R, 2nd) witness the signing of cooperative documents between the two countries. Photo: Quynh Trung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam and Hungary have pledged to increase their bilateral trade to US$2 billion while beefing up their comprehensive partnership, and have signed three cooperative documents during the visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to the country in Central Europe.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and PM Chinh co-chaired a press conference announcing the results of their earlier talks in Budapest on Thursday, after the Vietnamese government chief, his spouse, and their entourage arrived the same day for an official visit, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters from the Hungarian capital city.

The Hungary-Vietnam relationship is very meaningful as Vietnam is a leading developing country in Asia, Orbán said, hoping that Vietnam would join the group of successful Asian countries soon.

Highlighting economic, investment, and trade cooperation as the focuses of the bilateral relations, both sides agreed to push two-way trade to $2 billion in the coming time.

In the January-November period of 2023, the bilateral trade reached $785 million, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

PM Orbán commented that Hungary has witnessed a rise in investments from oriental countries, including Vietnam, in addition to its traditional investors, marking an upward trend in recent years.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán co-chair a press conference announcing the results of their talks in Budapest on January 18, 2024. Photo: Quynh Trung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán co-chair a press conference announcing the results of their talks in Budapest, January 18, 2024. Photo: Quynh Trung / Tuoi Tre

He lauded Vietnam for its success in trade cooperation with Europe through the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and called on PM Chinh to encourage Vietnamese partners to invest in Hungary.

The Hungarian leader said that collaboration between the two countries is not limited to manufacturing and trade, but also includes scientific research, farm produce exports, healthcare, education, and culture.

Hungary, situated in Central Europe, has embraced a 'Look East' policy, emphasizing the importance of values such as equality, family, and national service, Orbán said.

He also highlighted the myriad similarities between the two peoples, underscoring that both countries have successfully navigated various difficulties and challenges to safeguard their populations and establish distinctive positions on the global stage.

The two countries have the same viewpoints on war and peace since they both experienced wars, Orbán stated, expressing his admiration for Vietnam’s victories in wartime.

He stressed that Hungary always supports and advocates peaceful solutions for disputes in the world, and that his country and Vietnam have a common voice on this issue.

PM Chinh told his host that Vietnam appreciates the value of peace, loves peace, and does its best for such peace.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh give each other an affectionate shoulder hug after ending the press briefing in Budapest on January 18, 2024. Photo: Quynh Trung / Tuoi Tre

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán (R) and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh give each other an affectionate shoulder hug after ending a press briefing in Budapest, January 18, 2024. Photo: Quynh Trung / Tuoi Tre

He conveyed gratitude to Orbán for the gracious and warm reception extended to the Vietnamese delegation.

He noted that their discussions were open, substantive, inclusive, and fruitful, building upon the strong foundation of the 74-year history of Vietnam-Hungary relations and their comprehensive partnership established in 2018.

In its foreign policies, Vietnam treasures traditional relations with Hungary, the only country in Central Europe that has had a comprehensive partnership with Vietnam so far, Chinh said.

The Vietnamese official highlighted Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, diversification, and multilateralization of external relations, affirming that Vietnam is a good friend, trustworthy partner, and responsible member of the international community.

He asserted that Vietnam encourages enterprises from the two countries to strengthen their investment in each other.

According to the Vietnamese foreign ministry, Hungarian investors are operating 15 FDI projects worth $50.66 million in Vietnam, ranking 55th among 105 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian country.  

The PM sincerely thanked the government and people of Hungary for creating favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Hungary to live and integrate into the local society, serving as a bridge for friendly relations between both countries. 

He suggested that Hungary soon recognize the Vietnamese community in the country as one of its ethnic minority groups so that they can enjoy equal policies like other minorities in Hungary.

PM Chinh called on Hungary to support ASEAN’s stance on the East Vietnam Sea issue, including peacefully resolving disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the waterway,

He also urged Budapest to support the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and the negotiation on a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) for the waters.

Following their talks, the two prime ministers presided over the signing of three collaborative documents.

These include an intergovernmental agreement addressing cooperation in preventing and combating transnational organized crime, a memorandum of understanding outlining collaboration between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, and a cultural cooperation program for the 2024-26 period between the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Vietnam and the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Innovation.

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Vinh Tho - Quynh Trung / Tuoi Tre News

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