Indonesia is an important economic and political partner of Hungary as it is situated in the Southeast Asia region which is one of today’s most dynamically growing regions of the world economy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said after he had talks with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi.

The Minister highlighted that they agree that international politics must be cleansed of double standards and the wider spread of one-sided opinions which disregard national specificities. It is not right if large international organisations pass irresponsible judgements about countries, and therefore action must be taken also in international relations in the interest of the enforcement of mutual respect, he said.

He pointed out that the whole world is seeking opportunities of cooperation with Southeast Asia which is an economically useful region which offers a variety of trade and investment opportunities. When Hungary embarked upon the strategy of easterly opening, one of the most important goals was to arouse the interest of companies in the Far East operating to high technological standards in investment opportunities in Hungary, and to help Hungarian products to penetrate export markets in the region, he explained.

He said in 2019-2020 it adds to Indonesia’s importance that it is a member of the UN Security Council, and in that capacity takes part in the adoption of global strategic and security decisions which involve a great deal of responsibility during our present crucial times. Hungary supported Indonesia’s nomination to the post because it shares the Asian country’s commitment to the fight against international terrorism and extremism, he recalled.

Regarding economic cooperation, Mr Szijjártó said significant agreements have been concluded recently primarily in the areas of water management and energy supply. Eximbank provided a loan of USD 218 million for one of these projects, as part of which GE is taking part in the modernisation of Indonesia’s energy systems, while within the framework of a fixed aid credit agreement Hungarian water management companies are building water purification plants in Indonesia from an allocation of USD 36 million, he listed. He added that several Hungarian companies are conducting negotiations about participation in electronics and IT developments, for the purposes of which Eximbank will provide a credit line worth USD 460 million.

The Foreign Minister condemned trade disputes, and said it is in Hungary’s best interests that they should be brought to a conclusion within the shortest possible time. He observed that they had agreed to raise the number of scholarships offered to Indonesian students for studies in Hungary from 50 to 100.

Retno Marsudi stressed the importance of the strengthening of economic relations, and said her country has a vested interest in the extension of economic cooperation with Hungary. She referred to water management as one of the priorities in the building of economic relations, and also said Indonesian companies are interested in investment opportunities in Hungary. The Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs mentioned that the two countries will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.

In answer to a question, Mr Szijjártó said there is a clear dividing line in Europe and in Hungary between political parties, and this manifests itself in their approaches to migration. Hungarian electors know that the governing parties are against migration, protect Hungary’s borders and “want to reserve the right to decide whom we let into our country and whom we want to live together with,” he pointed out.

He added that by contrast, opposition parties support migration. He said electors have a clear choice. In the last few elections, they have already stated which position they support, and in three weeks’ time they will have the opportunity again to state their opinion, he said.

Before the press conference, the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding about vocational cooperation between the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)