Trade turnover has doubled between Hungary and Turkic Council states in the past decade and the importance of cooperation is continually increasing, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday.
Szijjártó welcomed at a meeting of the Turkic Council in Istanbul that three years ago Hungary was given observer status in the organisation and added that the number of states that want to join the cooperation has been increasing ever since.
Hungary has signed strategic partnership agreements with all five members of the Turkic Council, including, most recently, with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. A Hungarian embassy has been opened in the capital of the latter country, thereby the government has fulfilled its promise to establish representative offices in each of the member states, he added.
Hungary currently offers 870 university scholarships to Turkic Council member states, as against the former 725, with the number of applications recently getting near 5,000, Szijjártó said.
Hungary’s Eximbank has opened credit lines for investment in four of the member states and a 16 million dollar Hungarian-Kyrgyz development fund recently started operation, he added.
Trade turnover between Hungary and Turkic Council member countries doubled between 2009 and 2020, and it saw a 28 percent annual increase already this year, Szijjártó said. He expressed hope that a decision would be made in the near future about the organisation’s investment fund, adding that Hungary intends to join as soon as possible.
“A global competition is under way for the redistribution of economic capacities. Member states and observers of the Turkic Council must be among the winners of the new global economy. To that end, investments are needed and tools to attract investment,” he said.
Szijjártó said climate change posed increasingly serious challenges to agriculture, especially in terms of water shortage, adding that Hungary had highly advanced technologies for water management. The government has made a proposal to establish an institute aimed at preventing water shortage within the Turkic Council and Budapest is ready to host this institute and pay for its operational costs, he said.
He also said that the failure of international intervention in Afghanistan has resulted in increasing migratory pressure in the region and the entire world. He assured all neighbouring countries and countries on the migration route of Hungary’s solidarity.
“Hungary will never approve decisions that disregard the interests of Turkic Council members, regardless of whether they are made by the European Union or any other international organisation,” he said. All affected parties must be involved in decision making, he added.
Featured photo via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page