|Vietnam and Hungary raised relations to a comprehensive partnership Photo: VNA |
During Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s September 8-11 official visit to Hungary, the two countries officially raised their bilateral ties to a comprehensive partnership and signed many co-operation deals (see box).
Co-operation deals signed during the visit
- Intergovernmental deal on judiciary co-operation in the civil sector.
- Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence co-operation between the two nations’ ministries of Defence.
- MoU on co-operation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and Hungary’s Ministry of Innovation and Technology.
- Educational co-operation plan for the 2019-2021 period between Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and Hungary’s Ministry of Human Capacities.
- MoU between the Hungarian Water Utility Association and the People’s Committee of the province of Quang Tri on implementing the Quang Binh II clean water provision project in the province.
- MoU between the Hungarian Water Utility Association and the People’s Committee of the province of Vinh Long on implementing a water treatment project in the province.
- MoU between the Hungarian Water Utility Association and the People’s Committee of the province of Thanh Hoa on implementing a clean water provision project in the province.
This partnership will help Vietnam expand its influence in Europe’s Central-Eastern region, according to the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations.
Bertalan Havasi, deputy state secretary heading the Press Office of the Hungarian prime minister, said Hungary chose Vietnam as its strategic partner in the region because “there has been good diplomatic co-operation between the two countries for a long time, and, additionally, because there are some 3,000 Vietnamese citizens who obtained their qualifications in Hungary, and a Vietnamese community of several thousand – comprised of well respected and diligent families – living in Hungary. [Moreover], strategic analysts believe that over the next 30 years, Vietnam will be one of the world’s most rapidly developing countries.”
As part of the new co-operation framework, the two nations agreed to seek new solutions to boost their bilateral investment and trade co-operation, with a focus on helping firms from both sides to amplify their business and investment ties, and also facilitating the goods inflows to their respective markets. In addition, co-operation will also be expanded to new sectors, including healthcare, water management, IT, pharmaceuticals, environmental protection, and renewable energy.
Recently, more than 50 Hungarian firms and investors came to Vietnam in search of investment and business opportunities. The firms operate in various sectors, such as agriculture, agricultural machinery, foodstuff processing, waste treatment, factory dismantlement and construction, light and heavy industries, healthcare, IT, banking, architecture, construction and building materials, home appliances, and trade.
“Promising areas in developing bilateral trade relations include agro-food products and technologies, water management, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, ICT, environmental protection, renewable energy, and various machineries and equipment,” the Hungarian Embassy said in a statement on Vietnam on its website.
Currently, Hungary has 17 investment projects in Vietnam, registered at $63.56 million. These include three projects registered at $42 million operating in the processing and manufacturing industry, three IT projects registered at $6 million, and a $2-million property project.
Hungarian investment projects in Vietnam include the $40-million Crest Asia Vietnam, licensed in 2008 in the southern province of Binh Duong and producing leather products; the $2-million White Stone Co., Ltd. licensed in 2009 in Hanoi, operating in the property consultancy sector; the $2-million Amdocs Vietnam Co., Ltd. licensed in Hanoi, engaging in the ICT sector; and a $1.5-million Vietnam-Hungary joint venture licensed in 2009 in the central province of Thanh Hoa producing ashlar paving stones.
Both countries’ total bilateral trade turnover reached over $355 million last year, up 33.13 per cent against 2016.
Hungary has pledged to develop bilateral economic co-operation, which is supported by offering a €500 million ($577 million) concessional financial facility for Vietnam to deploy projects in healthcare, education, agriculture, ICT, and water management.