Agreements on Energy and Transport Development Concluded in Bucharest
Agreements on the facilitation of Hungarian-Romanian energy and transport development projects have been successfully concluded with the new Romanian Government, which has a much more open and pragmatic approach to joint projects that its predecessor”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy Levente Magyar said on Friday in Bucharest.
Following a session of the Hungarian-Romanian Joint Economic Committee, the Minister of State and Co-Chair of the Committee said that the number of border crossing stations between Hungary and Romania could soon double. The parties agreed to prepare a schedule for the opening of the ten new cross-border roads, which currently cannot be used because of the delay in Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, within three months.
There are currently ten border crossing stations between Romania and Hungary at an average distance of 40 kilometres, which is a typical Eastern and Central European problem because in Western Europe border crossing points between neighbouring countries are much more frequent, he pointed out.
In the interests of improving border permeability, the parties agreed to begin the construction works required to open the second motorway connection between Hungary and Romania in the area of Debrecen and Nagyvárad (Oradea) by 2018. The Infrastructure Working Group, which is due to meet in March, we also discuss ways of reducing waiting times at the existing motorway border crossing station at Nagylak, where the construction of a new axle load monitoring station is also planned, amongst other projects.
Romania is an important partner in the diversification of energy sources and routes, the Co-Chair of the Hungarian-Romanian Joint Economic Committee said, adding that the Romanian party has undertaken to soon create the conditions necessary to enable Hungary to also import natural gas from Romania.
In a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI, Mr. Magyar stressed: Romania is the country in which the most Hungarian-owned small and medium-sized enterprises are operating outside of Hungary with over 12 thousand Hungarian companies registered in Romania, in addition to which a host of large Hungarian corporations are also present in the country. Hungarian oil company MOL operates 200 fuel stations in Romania, in addition to exploring for hydrocarbon deposits; OTP bank is present with 120 branches and pharmaceutical company Richter-Gedeon provides jobs for 1500 people.
“These are major strategic positions with strong foundations. The economy is perhaps the least problematic area of Hungarian-Romanian cooperation; the SME sector is a success story and the other sectors can be similarly successful if we work on it, and the current Romanian Government is an administration we can work well with”, the Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy, summarising his experiences in Bucharest.