Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the largest order ever received by Hungary’s transport industry raises hopes of wide-ranging cooperation and tapping opportunities in African markets.
Following talks with Egyptian transport minister Kamel al-Wazir in Budapest on Thursday, Minister Szijjarto said railway carriages for the Egyptian market are already being manufactured in Dunakeszi, near Budapest. Originally a Russian-Egyptian-Hungarian cooperation, the project is now fully in the hands of Hungary’s Ganz-Mávag due to recent geopolitical changes, he said. So far Hungary has delivered 255 carriages, with another 314 under manufacture, he said. “Delivery is ongoing, and we will be ready by the deadline,” he said. The project has contributed to the significant expansion of exports, a key element of Hungary’s economic performance, he said. “Today we started talks on expanding this cooperation and on the manufacturing of joint Hungarian-Egyptian rolling stock,” Szijjártó said. The ministers have also agreed to train Egyptian railway engineers and technicians in Hungary using a grant system already in place, he said. Meanwhile, Hungary is raising the number of grants offered to Egyptian university students from 115 to 200 in 2024, he said. More than 100,000 Hungarian tourists visited Egypt last year, and that number is expected to grow in 2023, he added. There are currently 12 weekly flights between the countries. Hungarian discount airline WizzAir has obtained permission to fly from Ghiza, raising that number to 15, he added. Egypt is also strategically important to Europe as it plays an important role “in reining in the waves of migration to the continent, as one of the main fortresses of the defence lines of north Africa”. “Thanks to Egypt’s responsible policies, migration waves from the south have been held in check recently,” he said. Cairo is also an important partner in the fight against terrorism, he said. “Without a stable political system in Egypt, the risk of terrorism in the region would be even greater.”