Hungary, represented by Deputy State Secretary Szilveszter Bus, participated in the Summit of the Pacific Alliance for the second time.

The Alliance granted Hungary an observer status in 2015, also acknowledging the country’s activities in the Latin American region, conducted in accordance with its Opening to the South policy. The presidents and ministers of the four dynamically growing Member States of the Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), as well as high-level representatives of the observer countries participated in this year's event in Cali, Colombia. The Summit is aimed to deepen regional cooperation and forge closer ties with the observer states, with a special focus on trade, entering international markets, flow of capital and investment.

In his speech at the Summit, Mr. Szilveszter Bus outlined Hungary's aspirations to build stronger relations with Latin America and highlighted its results achieved in the past three years. He stressed that the Hungarian is one of Europe's most successful economies, and based on the security and stability that this provides, Hungary offers a chance for mutually beneficial cooperation with the members of the Alliance in all fields. He pointed out that with the opening of the Hungarian embassies in Lima, Peru and Bogotá, Colombia, Hungary has established a permanent representation in all four Member States of the Pacific Alliance. It was also one of the few Observer States which made concrete proposals for moving forward this cooperation at last year’s Summit:  Hungary offered to provide two scholarships per Member State (a total of 8) in the field of water engineering, which the Pacific Alliance considered to be an exceptionally valuable contribution. Mr. Szilveszter Bus also emphasised that as a sign of its solidarity with the Member States of the Alliance that have been hit by devastating natural disasters recently, Hungary decided to donate a mobile wastewater treatment unit to Peru which will soon be put in place to help the communities affected.

The Deputy State Secretary reminded the audience that at a time when Colombia was taking over the pro tempore presidency of the Alliance, Hungary was assuming the pro tempore presidency of the Visegrád Group for a year. This provides a unique opportunity to put more focus on the relations between the two regions. We plan to hold an interregional expert meeting in Budapest in the field of technology and knowledge transfer in the second half of 2017, within the framework of the III. Hungary - Latin America Forum.

On the occasion of the Summit, Mr. Szilveszter Bus also had the chance to have a short discussion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Ms. María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, who thanked Hungary for its commitment and active cooperation and emphasised that she is looking forward to an even closer cooperation between the two countries following the opening of the Hungarian Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia.”