Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that three Hungarian companies are preparing to embark on major investment projects in Angola, signalling the benefits of bilateral cooperation for both countries. A Hungarian water management company will spend 100 million US dollars on the construction of 13 waterworks sites, securing the drinking water supply for two million people.
Following a meeting of the Hungarian-Angolan economic mixed committee in Budapest, the minister said preparations are also under way for a 140 million dollar local investment by a Hungarian security printing company. Also, a Hungarian company will soon begin renovation works on a 100 million dollar Hungarian-made gas turbine in the country, he added. Meanwhile, Minister Szijjártó said some 1,000 applications had been submitted for the 50 state scholarships Hungary is offering to Angolan university students for the next academic year.
He said the two countries had also approved an agreement at the meeting that will create a direct air link between Budapest and Luanda, with Budapest set to be a stopover on a Luanda-Moscow flight.
Minister Szijjártó underscored the importance of strong economic cooperation between Africa and Europe in order for Africa to remain attractive to its own citizens. Angola, he said, was a role model in this respect, as it had managed to preserve its security and develop its economy, and was therefore not a migrant-sending country. Asked about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Szijjártó said the situation could only be resolved through dialogue based on mutual respect, and called for the continuation of high-level talks.
The minister confirmed that Hungary’s defence ministry was consulting with NATO on the American proposal for the deployment of troops to Hungary. He dismissed a report by CNN that NATO could deploy a 1,000-strong unit as “fake news”.
Asked about plans for Hungary to manufacture Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Minister Szijjártó said plans were to sell the jabs outside Europe where they are in high demand. He added that Hungary was prepared to cooperate with all major vaccine manufacturers. Asked about Hungary’s aim to increase gas supplies as part of its long-term contract with Russia, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary was looking to increase the amount of gas delivered by an annual 1 billion cubic metres. He noted that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was set to discuss the matter during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter