PM Orbán: Hungary and Turkey have doubled bilateral trade turnover in just over ten years

The prime minister said Turkish investments in Hungary are growing in both number and value.

After signing a bilateral priority strategic partnership agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary and Turkey have doubled their bilateral trade turnover in the space of just over ten years. PM Orbán noted that 500 Turkish businesses are present in Hungary, while 100 Hungarian firms are active in Turkey. Turkish investments in Hungary are growing in both number and value, he said. Since these investments have expanded to new sectors, he added, Hungary and Turkey also signed agreements on railway developments and the defence industry. PM Orbán emphasized Turkey’s role in Hungary’s general security and energy security, saying Hungary would be unable to keep migration at bay without Turkey.

Concerning the war in Ukraine, the prime minister said Turkey had been the only country to achieve any results in connection with peace and grain shipments. Turkey, he noted, had also just taken command of the KFOR mission in Kosovo, where 465 Hungarian troops are stationed. As regards energy security, PM Orbán said he and Erdoğan agreed on Hungary purchasing natural gas directly from Turkey in addition to receiving gas delivered through the country. Hungary and Turkey are also developing ties between their universities, PM Orbán said, noting that Hungary has offered 200 scholarships to Turkish university students. Next year, he added, will be dedicated to the joint Hungarian-Turkish cultural season to mark the centenary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties. PM Orbán added that 2025 will be declared the year of cooperation in Hungarian science and innovation. The short-term bilateral programme “is specific”, while the medium-term programmes “are appealing”, the prime minister said, adding that when it came to strategic and historic issues, the two countries had the same goals and intent. Hungary and Turkey were elevating bilateral ties to an all-time high, he said.

Turkish President Erdoğan praised Turkey and Hungary’s long-standing friendly ties, saying both countries were willing to expand bilateral relations. He highlighted the “very strong” historical and cultural links between the two countries, expressing his appreciation for Hungary’s presence in the Organization of Turkic States as an observer. Turkey and Hungary, he said, aimed to stimulate investments in each other’s countries along with joint investments in third countries, and sought to further deepen their cooperation in the defence and energy industries. Erdoğan expressed his country’s support for Hungary’s successful EU presidency in the second half of 2024. Meanwhile, the Turkish president said violence did not yield solutions, noting that Turkey was focused on a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine, and he urged a ceasefire in Gaza. Erdoğan, who is visiting Hungary to attend a meeting of the Hungarian-Turkish High-level Strategic Cooperation Council, signed a joint political declaration with Orbán on the two countries’ priority strategic partnership. Also, Hungarian and Turkish ministers signed cooperation agreements on social services, the Hungarian-Turkish year of innovation, research and development, defence and foreign affairs, nuclear energy, civilian state of emergency as well as audiovisual political and government communication, among other areas. Hungary and Turkey are launching a year-long Hungarian-Turkish cultural season on Monday to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey as well as their diplomatic relations.