“Over the past decade, Hungary has doubled its trade with the countries of the Turkic Council, which now stands at some 4 billion dollars”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to public media on Monday in Baku, where he took part in a meeting of foreign ministers of the countries of the Turkic Council and a business forum, as we as holding several bilateral negotiations.

“In the interests of the further development of cooperation between Hungary and the Turkic Council, Eximbank has opened a 577-million-euro credit line to finance cooperation between Hungarian businesses and enterprises from the member states of the organisation”, he announced. “The modern pharmaceuticals industry, the health industry, water management, logistics and the construction industry are the fields in which Hungarian enterprises have an opportunity to acquire several market opportunities, and are able to achieve increasing success in these rapidly developing economies”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

The Minister said the development of relations between people is also important, indicating that there are currently 705 scholarship students from the countries of the Turkic Council studying at Hungarian universities.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade pointed out that the Turkic Council had recently opened its new European representative office in Budapest, making the Hungarian capital the European centre of operations of yet another major international organisation. “And on Monday, our cooperation took a further step forward in view of the fact that the Turkic Cultural and Tradition Foundation has also afforded Hungary observer status”, he added, emphasising that this will enable the further reinforcement of cultural cooperation.

Mr. Szijjártó recalled that Hungary had launched its Eastern Opening policy in 2010, and it was already clear at the time that the tempo of the major changes going on within the global economy are being dictated to at least as great an extent from the East as from the West. “It was the right decision to strive towards balanced political cooperation, because relations based on mutual respect create an opportunity for Hungarian enterprises to acquire as many business opportunities as possible in the economies that fall to the east”, the Minister said.

While in the capital of Azerbaijan, the Hungarian Foreign Minister held bilateral talks with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan; Elmar Mammadyarov, Kamilov Abdulaziz and Mukhtar Tileuberdi. The Turkic Council comprises Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan. Hungary has had observer status in the Council since last year.