Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has announced that an agreement on the establishment of a 16 million US dollar Kyrgyz-Hungarian fund to support investments by Hungarian companies will enter into force in the coming week.
“We Hungarians are more understanding of Central Asia than perhaps any other European country,” the minister said. “Therefore we are happy to act as a bridge … and would prefer if the EU devoted greater attention to this region.”
Minister Szijjártó also noted that Hungary opened an embassy in Bishkek last year. The embassy issues visas to six EU countries, and more member states have expressed interest, he said. Meanwhile, Minister Szijjártó and Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbayev jointly opened the Kyrgyz embassy in Hungary in Budapest on Monday. Minister Szijjártó said countries in the West had censured Hungary for its policy of opening up to the East because “our Western friends didn’t want competition in Eastern markets”. But it was by now clear that Hungary’s strategy had borne fruit, he added.
Commenting on Hungary-Kyrgyzstan ties, the minister said there were no unresolved political issues and ties are supported by a stable financing such as a fund to boost bilateral trade. Also, 150 Kyrgyz students come to Hungary each year and study with scholarships, a program which is vastly oversubscribed, he added.
Photo credit: MTI