Hungary could become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the second half of this year, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said. Hungary will not be a founding member but has applied to be an ordinary member, he told MTI after the list of founding members was finalised. It is in Hungary’s interest to be involved in the work of the new financial institution being set up with capital of 100 billion euros at the initiative of China.
The government decided last week to request membership, he added. The founders plan to start operating AIIB in the second half of the year. This is expected to be the time when ordinary membership requests are assessed, once the operational regulations for the organisation are approved, Szijjártó said. Membership will enable Hungary to participate in the decisions of a potentially influential international financial institution, and this will also help Hungarian companies enter Asian markets, he added. The implementation of AIIB-financed projects will provide a major boost to export potential, he added.
Meanwhile Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has held talks with Davit Bakradze, Georgia’s minister for European integration affairs, in Budapest. Hungary is a dedicated supporter of Georgia’s European and NATO integration efforts, Szijjártó said after meeting. The Hungarian government expects the next Eastern Partnership summit will formulate a clear message to the EU’s eastern partners and will make it clear that closer cooperation is planned with them, he added. Closer links with countries of the Eastern Partnership would serve the EU’s political and economic interests, he added. The summit will provide an opportunity to offer the accelerated introduction of a visa waiver scheme for Georgia, Péter Szijjártó said.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photo: Nelson Ching – bloomberg.com/getty images