Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong made the remarks at the reception for Balogh Csaba, Hungarian State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on November 14.

Vietnam – Hungary relations have made strong progress in recent years, marked by the establishment of a comprehensive partnership during the visit of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong to Hungary in September this year, Phong told Csaba.

Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong shakes hands with Hungarian State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Balogh Csaba.

The visit showed Vietnam’s view of Hungary as an important partner and created a new impetus for the expansion of the bilateral ties in all fields, particularly economics, trade and investment, he said.

Though the two countries are seeing growing ties, trade and economic relations between HCM City and Hungary remain below the two sides’ potential and expectations, he noted.

HCM City wants to foster friendship with Hungary, he said, urging the country to support economics, trade and business affairs of enterprises from the city in Hungary and in Central and Eastern Europe.

He affirmed that HCM City will create the best conditions for firms of both sides to step up cooperation and for the implementation of joint tourism projects between the two governments and at the same time, welcome enhanced people-to-people exchanges.

He also asked Hungary to reinforce collaboration in high-tech industry and developing smart cities.

Csaba, for his part, said Hungary sees Vietnam as its most important partner in Southeast Asia and a gateway for Hungary to enter the region. The two nations must exert greater efforts to realize the will of their leaders, he said.

He praised the city’s dynamic growth, saying Hungary welcomes all local companies to invest and do business in the European country.

He also spoke highly of trade between Vietnam and Hungary, which has expanded six times over the last six years. The two countries have carried out joint projects in food manufacturing, water supply, healthcare and food safety and in addition to these, Hungary hopes to bolster ties with Vietnam in tourism and information technology.

Vietnam and Hungary established diplomatic ties on February 3, 1950. Over the years, their economic and trade ties have increased sharply, with two-way trade exceeding USD 355 million for the first time in 2017. The figure reached USD 348 million for the first seven months of 2018, a 113.15 percent increase year on year.

Vietnam’s main exports to Hungary include computers, electronic goods and parts, transport vehicles and spare parts, garments and footwear while Hungary mostly sells pharmaceuticals and public transport vehicles to Vietnam.

As of April 2018, Hungary had 17 valid projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of USD 63.56 million, ranking 57th out of 126 countries and territories investing in the country.

Education is a traditional cooperation sphere and over the years, Hungary has been the only country in Eastern Europe to constantly offer more scholarships for Vietnamese students.

Hungary has made Vietnam a priority in its provision of official development assistance, with its total commitment for Vietnam reaching EUR 535 million.

Source: VNA