“The countries of Central Asia are experiencing and increasingly high level of economic development, and accordingly it is in the decided interest of the Hungarian economy to undertake its share and profit from this development”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Tuesday in the Kyrgyzstani capital.

“The countries of Central Asia are realising major tourism-related development projects, are becoming increasingly popular tourist destinations, and are sending increasing numbers of their own citizens to Europe”, the Minister explained. “For this reason, Hungary has opened a 65 million dollar credit line to facilitate cooperation between Hungarian and Kyrgyzstani enterprises, in addition to which we have also concluded a tourism agreement”, he added. “We would like as many Central Asian tourists as possible to experience Hungary’s sights, as this represents a high level of income and prestige for Hungary’, he said.

“There are currently 25 Kyrgyzstani students attending Hungarian higher education institutions thanks to Hungarian state scholarships. We have agreed to increase this number to 75 from next September”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

“This cooperation with Kyrgyzstan points beyond itself in view of the fact that the country is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, and now that a ‘trade war’ is developing in the world it would be in the clear interests of the European Union to tighten cooperation with the Eurasian bloc”, he pointed out. “Negotiations are ongoing between the EU and Kyrgyzstan on the expansion of the 1999 cooperation agreement. We support this, and also that the EU should increase its existing funding of 184 million euros, because the more stable this country and this region, the easier it is to prevent the spread of those extremist ideas that form the basis of terrorism, and which are threatening European security”, he added.

According to Russian news agency TASS, following his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the Northern Kyrgyzstani town of Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov announced that Hungary and Kyrgyzstan will be establishing a joint committee on trade and economic cooperation. According to the President, the setting up of the Committee “opens new opportunities for businesses from the two countries to take part in the realisation of joint projects”.

President Jeenbekov added that the parties had also agreed to develop political dialogue and parliamentary cooperation between their respective countries. They agreed that cooperation within the field of the economy must become more active, with the President citing energy management, tourism, agriculture, the processing industry and the textile industry as possible fields for expanded cooperation.

The Kyrgyz President indicated that his country’s government is willing to cooperate with the Budapest cabinet within international organisations. “We will strive to support dialogue with relation to European security within the United Nations and other international organisations”, Mr. Jeenbekov emphasised.

According to TASS, following the talks Prime Minister Orbán said that the required agreements had been concluded, and that the conditions for economic cooperation are now excellent. “It is now up to the two countries’ enterprises”, he declared, adding that Hungary is looking for partners within the fields of the pharmaceutical industry, water management, agriculture and Information Technology.