“Russian-Hungarian regional economic cooperation is a promising opportunity for Hungary”, the Minister of Agriculture said in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday after visiting Smolensk County in Western Russia.

Sándor Fazekas pointed out that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently agreed on regional cooperation, and it was within the framework of this programme that he had visited the city of Smolensk in the western area of the country during his current official visit to Russia.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy Csaba / Ministry of Agriculture

“Smolensk County has some 6 million inhabitants and is one of Russia’s most economically developed areas”, Mr. Fazekas said.

The Minister explained that he had held talks on concrete opportunities for cooperation with the region’s Governor, Alexei Ostrovsky, after also vising a cattle farm. During the meeting, it transpired that the Russian party is interested in the construction of cattle farms, importing breeding stock and developing cattle stocks, and the related expert training.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy Csaba / Ministry of Agriculture

According to Mr. Fazekas, there are investment opportunities for Hungarian enterprises with relation to the establishment of feed mixing plants, broiler chicken farms, a rapeseed processing plant and a cheese manufacturing plant. Smolensk County is also interested in agricultural seed production, and especially maize cultivation technologies, in addition to which there is also demand for cooperation within the field of fruit and vegetable production.

Smolensk County would like to develop its food tracking methods, with relation to which it would like to consult with Hungarian higher education institutions, the Szent István University in Gödöllő, and Budapest’s University of Veterinary Science, he continued.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba Pelsőczy Csaba / Ministry of Agriculture

“Smolensk region is investor and entrepreneur-friendly, taxes are low and the county provides the highest possible tax benefits to new investors. The fact that the area is in the western part of Russia may make it particularly attractive to investors interested in founding a joint venture”, Mr. Fazekas said. The Minister noted that competitors such as French, German, Dutch and Italian enterprises are also present on the market.

The Hungarian Minister of Agriculture told MTI that he and Governor Ostrovsky had agreed to continuously assist and monitor joint projects, and to repeat the Hungarian-Russian business people’s meeting held last year in Budapest. Mr. Fazekas invited the Governor to visit Hungary.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)