Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary will finance the shipping of 10,000 tons of grain worth 3.5 million US dollars from Ukraine to Africa as part of its efforts to resolve the global food crisis.
Minister Szijjártó said, after meeting his Congolese counterpart in Budapest on Monday, that although Hungary and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are geographically far apart, they are both affected by global security threats, Minister Szijjártó told a press conference he held jointly with Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’Apala, according to a foreign ministry statement. Szijjártó cited the example of the negative effects of the Ukraine war, such as the food crisis which affects Africa the most. Both countries have an interest in peace being achieved as soon as possible, Szijjártó said, urging dialogue, a ceasefire and peace talks.
Concerning bilateral economic ties, Minister Szijjártó highlighted the electric vehicle industry and battery production as a key link between Hungary and the DR Congo. Hungary has the world’s third largest EV battery production capacity and will soon be ranked first thanks to the investment projects under way, the minister said. Szijjártó noted that one of the most important raw materials used in EV battery production was cobalt, with more than 70% of the cobalt used by the sector coming from the DR Congo. The future success of the global EV industry depends greatly on the unimpeded extraction and supply of cobalt, Szijjártó said. Several Hungarian companies will get to contribute to this, the minister said, noting that a 600 million dollar infrastructure development programme aimed at linking the DR Congo with Zambia and Tanzanian ports will be headed by Hungarian construction industry companies. The project will shorten the time it takes for the DR Congo’s raw materials to reach sea ports from over a month to around ten days, Szijjártó said. The project’s preparatory phase is under way and the Hungarian companies involved have signed the concession contract, he said.