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Hungarian PM says Việt Nam 'critically important' in its Look East policy in talks with PM Chính

Friday, 19/01/2024 | 15:51:47 [GMT +7] A  A

The two PMs discussed major orientations and specific measures to elevate the Việt Nam-Hungary comprehensive partnership to a new height in their official talks in Budapest.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (left) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban at the press conference held following their talks in Budapest, Hungary, on January 18. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính held talks with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest on January 18 afternoon (local time) as part of his official visit to the European nation from January 18-20.

The Hungarian PM underlined the significance of the Vietnamese PM’s visit in the context that the two countries have marked five years of their comprehensive partnership (2018-2023) and are looking towards the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1950-2025).

PM Orban affirmed that Việt Nam would always be Hungary’s partner of leading importance in Southeast Asia and believed that the visit would contribute to deepening the two countries’ relations.

PM Chính expressed his joy with Hungary’s socio-economic achievements and believed in the country’s further development in the near future.

He affirmed that Việt Nam always treasured and wished to intensify cooperation with Hungary – its first comprehensive partner in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Vietnamese Government leader took the occasion to thank the government and people of Hungary for their valuable assistance to Việt Nam in the past struggle for national independence and reunification as well as the present national construction and development, most recently the provision of hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines and medical equipment for Việt Nam at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was developing complicatedly.

The two PMs discussed major orientations and specific measures to elevate the Việt Nam-Hungary comprehensive partnership to a new height.

On politic-diplomatic cooperation, the two sides agreed to increase contacts and delegation exchanges at all levels through Party, State, Government, parliament and people-to-people channels to strengthen political trust and mutual understanding, creating a foundation to promote and expand bilateral cooperation in all fields.

Regarding economic-trade-investment collaboration, they agreed that this was an important pillar in their bilateral relations, while affirming the need to further promote existing cooperation mechanisms, including the early organisation of the 10th meeting of the joint committee on economic cooperation between Việt Nam and Hungary. They encouraged agencies and businesses of both sides to continue fully, effectively implement the European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Chính suggested Hungary create favourable conditions for more Vietnamese goods to Hungary, especially agro-forestry-fishery products, while affirming Việt Nam would stand ready to serve as a gateway for Hungarian commodities to access the Vietnamese and ASEAN markets.

He also thanked Hungary for its support to Việt Nam in the negotiation and signing of the EVFTA and being the first EU member to ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

Vietnamese and Hungarian PMs witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Orban affirmed that Hungary, as President of the EU for the last six months of 2024, would encourage the remaining countries to ratify the agreement.

Chính proposed the European Commission (EC) soon remove the “yellow card” warning against Việt Nam's seafood.

Orban said Việt Nam was one of Hungary’s most promising markets in the Asia-Pacific region and many Hungarian businesses were interested in expanding investment and business in the Southeast Asian nation. He welcomed the two sides’ organisation of a Việt Nam-Hungary business forum during Chính's visit, offering opportunities for the direct exchange and connection of both countries’ firms. He vowed to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to invest in Hungary in such potential areas as information technology and auto industry.

On education and training, the two sides welcomed recent positive outcomes. PM Chính thanked the Hungarian government for its provision of 200 scholarships for Vietnamese students every year. Both sides also welcomed the direct, close and effective cooperation mechanism between the two countries’ universities, reflected via a series of memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed by Vietnamese and Hungarian training establishments during the visit.

In addition, the two sides concurred to enhance cooperation in other traditional areas such as culture-sports-tourism, labour, science-technology, environment, agriculture and water management, while striving to expand collaboration in new fields such as circular economy, innovation, green finance, renewable energy and digital transformation.

PM Orban spoke highly of the role of the Vietnamese community in Hungary. PM Chính proposed the Hungarian government continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese expats to deeply integrate into local society, thus contributing to promoting traditional friendship between the two countries in all fields.

Discussing international and regional issues of shared concern, the two Government leaders affirmed to support resolving disputes by peaceful measures, in line with international law and the United Nations Charter, including not using force or threatening to use force; and ensuring peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (left) and Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban had talks in Budapest. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Following the talks, PM Chính and his Hungarian counterpart witnessed the signing and hand-over of cooperation documents between the countries’ ministries, sectors, and agencies, comprising an agreement between the two governments on cooperation in combating organised transnational crimes, a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and a cultural cooperation programme between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Creativity for the 2024-26 period.

After that, the two PMs co-chaired a press conference announcing the outcomes of their talks.

PM Orban told the media that amid the world situation’s volatility, Hungary recently implemented a Look East policy that considers the cooperation with Việt Nam, an emerging country with a growing role in the region and the world, as critically important.

Since the two countries share many similarities in terms of history, culture, and geopolitical positions in the international arena, they agreed to further enhance cooperation in all spheres, including making use of the EVFTA and EVIPA and boosting ties in education, training, science, technology, and tourism, he said.

Orban added that having undergone many wars, both countries had a common viewpoint about peace, so they would support each other at regional and international forums and attach importance to peace, stability, cooperation, and development.

PM Chính highlighted Việt Nam's foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of external relations, being a good friend, trustworthy partner, and responsible member of the international community, and following the “bamboo” diplomatic style. In its foreign policy, Việt Nam treasured the traditional relations with Hungary, the only in Central and Eastern Europe to have a comprehensive partnership with it.

During the talks, the two sides expressed their wish to promote cooperation in all fields, agreeing to increase mutual visits at all levels and supporting each other at multilateral forums, including setting up a mechanism for bilateral interactions when they attend multilateral activities, the Vietnamese Government leader noted.

He said that he also called on Hungary to soon recognise the Vietnamese community in Hungary as an ethnic minority so that they could benefit from policies as equally as other ethnic groups of Hungary.

PM Chính added he called on Hungary to support ASEAN’s stance on and centrality in the East Sea issue, which are peacefully resolving disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea); and supporting the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the negotiation on a substantive and effective code of conduct in the waters (COC).

A closed meeting between Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (left) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban prior to their official talks. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương GIang
Source: Vietnam News