First of all let me express my appreciation to His Excellency, President Tokayev, and to our honorary chairman, Nursultan Nazarbayev for convening us today. Obviously we are disappointed that we cannot meet in person but hopefully we will have the chance soon not to be forced to hold such meetings in the virtual space. It is more than symbolic that we see each other while celebrating Nowruz. The renewal of nature, the beginning of a new life cycle is of special significance in 2021 as we are all fighting hard to overcome our common serious epidemiological challenge but in Hungary we are already planning the post-pandemic period.
You were generous enough to accept us as observers almost three years ago. Let me report to you that during this period of time we have put a lot of emphasis on upgrading our relationship with your countries. Our goals were to elevate our cooperation to a strategic level with all of you and to establish representations in all of the Member States. These procedures have been completed by signing strategic cooperation agreement with President Mirziyoyev in Uzbekistan just one day ago and opening our embassy in Kyrgyzstan also recently. These efforts and your dedicated willingness to cooperate with us have also already brought tangible practical results: regardless the 9% back slash of the global trade our trade volume with you has increased by another 3% last year and we are happy to witness the ever growing demand of your students to come to study on our universities reflected by the five thousand applications submitted this year by your youngsters to gain scholarship in Hungary. Thank you very much for that. I am really grateful to all of you for delegating your experts to Budapest to join the European representation centre of Turkic Council. We are glad that the team here in Budapest is supposed to have a role in preparing the Turkic World Vision 2040 and the strategy of our Council for the upcoming five years. Thank you very much for that.
Let me please also inform you about our efforts here in Hungary to push back the virus. Currently we rank number one in the European Union when it comes to proportionate vaccination. Today we are 25% of our adult population to receive at least the first jab which will soon enable us to gradually restart normal life in the country. Probably you should know also that we are the only country in the European Union which is pragmatic enough and use both Western and Eastern vaccines. Many of countries here in Europe have an ideological approach rejecting to use Chinese and Russian vaccines unlike we do.
However we are all aware that the virus creates totally new circumstances in the global economy as well. Therefore President please let me emphasize that we are committed to host a big business-to-business forum of the Turkic Chamber of Industry and Commerce at the end of springtime in order to ensure the match making opportunities for our companies to join their forces in the wide scale of investment projects soon to be launched. I also would like to reiterate our commitment to join the Turkic Investment Fund. We consider it of crucial importance to establish the financial background for major development projects to take place in our countries and to be executed by our companies. We are also ready to allocate the necessary budget resources for this sake.
Let me close by expressing my hope to see you soon in person, hopefully on our next official summit in Turkey.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.