Belarus to boost comprehensive cooperation with Hungary
On January 14, 2019, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto.
During the meeting, the Belarusian President said that it is ready to push forward bilateral economic and trade cooperation in various fields, pointing out that the volume of trade between Belarus and Hungary at 180-200 million U.S. dollars a year is “extremely small taking into account the capacity of our countries”.
The meeting revolved around topical issues of international and European agendas, prospects of Belarusian-Hungarian relations, and interaction of Belarus and Hungary in international organizations. The main focus of the talks was on the economy, mutually beneficial trade and economic ties, focusing on cooperation in mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food industry, construction, and tourism.
After the meeting, Belarus and Hungary signed a ministerial memorandum of understanding on fostering interregional cooperation, an intergovernmental agreement on promotion and mutual protection of investment, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also signed a plan of ministerial consultations for 2019.
At the press conference, the Hungarian Minister drew attention to the fact that countries in Central Europe must cooperate with each other, as it is in their interest to do so. Hungary is a member of the European Union, and Belarus is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU); the Minister emphasized that due to this fact, cooperation between the two countries is even more important. Mr. Szijjarto stated that Hungary is calling for closer economic cooperation between the EU and the EAEU, towards which cooperation between Hungary and Belarus represents a good foundation. In addition, Hungary stressed that the Eastern Partnership program must be reinforced.
Eastern Partnership is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the EU, its member states, and its six Eastern neighbors: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The initiative reaffirms a joint commitment to deliver tangible results for citizens across the region with four main priority areas: stronger economy, stronger governance, stronger connectivity, and stronger society.
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