Deputy State Secretary Szilveszter Bus held talks in Quito, Ecuador on 30 June 2017. His visit was the first Hungarian high-level contact with the new Ecuadorian administration that took office at the end of May. The governmental meetings aimed to set the two countries’ bilateral relations on a new track and give a fresh impetus to their cooperation.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TradeThe Deputy State Secretary informed the Vice Minister of External Trade, Mr. Humberto Jiménez Torres, of the positive performance of the Hungarian foreign trade and the significant changes carried out in 2014 in the institutional set-up that made this possible. He also outlined Hungary’s aspirations to build stronger ties with the Latin American region. Elaborating on Hungary’s success and the potential of the Central European region in general, he urged Ecuador to open a regional office of the ProEcuador national investment and trade development agency in Budapest. He pointed out that in spite of numerous unfavourable external factors – such as the economic slowdown of Brazil – Hungary has managed to grow its exports to the region by 3 % and our goal is to extend this growth to our trade with Ecuador as well. Mr. Szilveszter Bus asked his Ecuadorian partner’s support to the signing of an agreement on the elimination of double taxation between the two countries as soon as possible, which would send a strong positive message to the business community as well. He also asked the Vice Minister to support moving forward and achieving substantial results in other fields of cooperation, such as water management, IT, urban development, renewable energies and hydrocarbon industries.

Mr. Szilveszter Bus was the first foreigner counterpart received officially by the recently appointed Deputy State Secretary for Europe and North America, Mr. Carlos Játiva. At their meeting, they examined the full spectrum of the Hungarian-Ecuadorian bilateral relations and certain additional international issues as well. The Ecuadorian partner expressed his country’s appreciation for Hungary’s decision to reopen its embassy in Quito in 2015, which they consider to be a significant sign of commitment. It provides a great opportunity, as well as an advantage for Hungary to forge closer ties with Ecuador and the region. Mr. Szilveszter Bus assured Mr. Carlos Játiva that Hungary is ready to cooperate with the new Ecuadorian administration on all fronts. He reaffirmed the invitation of the Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Budapest, hoping to welcome her in Hungary soon. Mr. Szilveszter Bus assessed the current state of relations between the two countries and asked for Ecuador’s support to widening the contractual framework governing their relationship, and in specific areas to the business aspirations of Hungarian economic actors. Upon enquiry by his Ecuadorian partner, the Deputy State Secretary outlined Hungary’s position on migration and other European Union affairs.

At the meeting with Deputy State Secretary of Skills Development and Scholarship Programmes, Mr. Diego Vintimilla, the parties discussed the state of their scholarship programmes, the possible expansion of cooperation in the fields of science and technology, and the prospect of direct bilateral partnerships between Hungarian and Ecuadorian universities. Mr. Diego Vintimilla expressed his gratitude for raising the number of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarships offered to his country to 75. He emphasised Ecuador’s strong commitment to further developing the educational-scientific ties between the two countries, in a clear acknowledgement of Hungary’s performance and status in these fields.

Mr. Szilveszter Bus also had a meeting with the Mayor of Quito, Mr. Mauricio Rodas Espinel, with whom he discussed the possibilities of closer cooperation between the two capitals. The dynamic and innovative leadership of the Ecuadorian capital showed great interest in smart city solutions and technologies that could be in the focus of their cooperation with Budapest and its business community.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)