During his visit to the Philippines, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó officially reopened his country’s embassy in Manila, Hungarian Wire Service MTI reports.
At the opening, Szijjártó emphasized the “highly beneficial” nature of cooperation between the two countries. He added that the Philippines offers a market of 100 million people, with a growth rate, of 6.8%, that is exceptional even in Asian terms. In addition, the foreign minister noted the fact that this year, the Philippines holds the rotating presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“To intensify its presence in the region, Hungary has decided to reopen its embassy after a 22-year interval,” Szijjártó added.
While in the Philippine capital, Hungary’s Foreign Minister also paid a visit to controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, who has engaged in a violent anti-drug campaign that some have argued reaches the level of crimes against humanity. He is also known for his steady stream of colorful statements, such as when he referred to Pope Francis as a “son of a whore” last year.
Speaking to MTI Szijjártó explained that Hungary and the Philippines will sign a cooperation agreement, wherein Hungary “will open a 510-million-euro credit line to boost its exports to the Philippines.” In addition, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said that his country intends to advocate for a free trade agreement between the EU and the Philippines as soon as possible.
Discussing current points of cooperation, Szijjártó pointed out that Hungarian exports to the Philippines have increased by 25% over the past two years, adding that sales of Hungarian meat and water management systems were prospective areas of further cooperation. The foreign minister also said that Hungary grants scholarships to 35 Filipino students each year.
Via MTI and 444.hu
Images via MTI