Turkey is an important partner to Hungary and to EU
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed that at a press conference following a meeting of the Hungarian-Turkish Joint Economic Committee on Thursday in Budapest.
The Turkish delegation was led by Minister of Health Mehmet Müezzinoğlu.
The Foreign Ministers said he thought the Joint Economic Committee provides a good framework for handling challenges of a political nature, in addition to the further development of bilateral economic relations.
The meeting of the Joint Committee had been convened to ensure that the situation that has come about as a result of the crises in Europe does not have a negative effect on bilateral economic cooperation, he added.
Mr. Szijjártó also stressed that Hungary is standing by Turkey in the fight against terrorist organisations.
The two negotiation delegations agreed on several measures aimed at stopping the decrease in bilateral trade, the Hungarian Foreign Minister pointed out.
Eximbank has opened a 212 million U.S. Dollar credit line to facilitate cooperation between Hungarian and Turkish enterprises and as a “flagship” of our cooperation, Budapest Waterworks has concluded an agreement with the waterworks of Ankara and Istanbul within the framework of water management cooperation as a result of which exports of Hungarian technology will increase.
Until now, Hungary has been the number one exporter of sweetcorn to Turkey, but new Turkish customs regulations have caused a slight problem in this field and accordingly Hungary has asked that they be reviewed. Last year, Hungary was the second largest exporter of cattle to Turkey, with 46.5 million dollars in livestock shipped to the Turkish party, but exports have since ceased because of an outbreak of Bluetongue disease.
Mr. Szijjártó added that a delegation from the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture was currently in Hungary and he hopes exports of cattle to Turkey will recommence soon. The parties also agreed that they would provide the logistics background necessary for increasing bilateral trade flow and accordingly would immediately begin a review of the number of road freight licences available, the Foreign Minister said.
Negotiations on a truck transport train between Sopron and Istanbul and on Hungary providing 150 scholarships for Turkish students to attend Hungarian universities were also in the home straight, he highlighted.
Hungarian and Turkish enterprises will be also cooperating more closely than before on third markets. A joint medical delegation will be sent to Africa during the summer, within the field of energy preparations are underway for the appearance of Hungarian energy groupo MVM on the Turkish market, for strategic cooperation between Hungarian oil company MOL and the Turkish state oil company, and for the training of Turkish nuclear experts in Hungary within the field of nuclear cooperation.
Mr. Szijjártó also stated that bilateral trade between the two countries totalled some 2.7 billion dollars last year, around 2 billion of which was derived from Hungarian exports, with the remaining 700 million dollars made up of Hungarian imports from Turkey. The two countries plan to increase bilateral trade flow to 5 billion dollars, the Minister said. ■