“The common standpoint professed by Bulgaria and Hungary on issues relating to the fate of Europe is creating an opportunity for economic cooperation to be unhindered and receive a never before seen level of momentum”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared at a press conference in Sofia on Friday after attending the founding session of the Hungarian-Bulgarian Government Committee for Economic Cooperation.

“Hungary and Bulgaria can count on each other as allies in many areas and political cooperation between the two countries is problem-free”, he added.

“Amongst others, the two countries are allies with relation to issues that affect the continent’s energy security. In view of missing infrastructure, it would as yet be courageous to talk about the security of Central Europe’s gas supply, but thanks to cooperation between Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, by the end of 2019 the opportunity will arise for the Western Balkan and Central European regions to gain access to new Russian natural gas resources from the south”, the Minister said. “As a result of cooperation between the three countries, from that time on Hungary will be able to import a significant amount of natural gas, some six billion cubic metres-a-year. The new southern gas transport route will make the economies of all three countries even more competitive”, he underlined.

With regard to trade floe between Bulgaria and Hungary, Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that trade 1.3 billion euros in trade was realised last year, and that the figures for the first eight months of this year has already exceeded one billion euros, meaning that trade flow between the two countries is expected to have significantly increased by the end of the year.

On the sidelines of the official visit by the delegation led by the Hungarian Foreign Minister, the Hungarian National Trading House and the Bulgarian Investment Agency concluded a cooperation agreement, with relation to which Mr Szijjártó told the press that Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 510 million euro credit line to facilitate the further development of bilateral business relations, in addition to which an agreement had been reached on the establishment of a fund to finance Hungarian and Bulgarian start-ups.

“The two countries are maintaining their close cooperation within the fields of agriculture and the food industry, and in view of the fact that there is once again a direct air passenger route between the two capitals, greater emphasis will also be placed on tourism cooperation in future”, the Minister said in closing.