“Interest on the part of the dynamically developing Southeast Asian region is increasingly turning towards Europe, and coupled with the Eastern Opening Policy this is providing an opportunity to tighten cooperation between Hungary and Cambodia”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference on Wednesday.

At a joint press conference following a meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn, Mr. Szijjártó said the Hungarian foreign service is being significantly expanded and an embassy office is being opened in the Cambodian capital, meaning the personnel required to facilitate cooperation will also be available.

“Cambodia is in a region of the world with one of the most dynamically developing integrations, ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and this integration is important with relation to Hungarian foreign trade goals”, he explained. “However, this region is also extremely seriously affected by natural disasters, which could encourage migration processes, and in view of the fact that according to Hungary’s position assistance must be taken to where the trouble is, Hungary has made several proposals aimed at supporting Cambodia”, he continued.

As he explained, Hungary is recommending that the EU spends more money on providing development support to Cambodia within its next multiannual framework, and that the EU and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) work in closer coordination in the interests of the region’s development.

“In addition, Cambodia is also being assisted with Hungarian water management experience and professional expertise to ensure that more people have access to clean drinking water and wastewater disposal services”, Mr. Szijjártó told reporters. “Hungary is also calling for Cambodia to receive more international support towards the eradication of landmines”, he added.

On the subject of economic cooperation, the Foreign Minister announced that Eximbank is opening a 64-million-dollar credit line to facilitate business cooperation, and 38 companies will be attending the upcoming Hungarian-Cambodian business forum. “Our politicians are working to create opportunities for tightening business relations”, he pointed out.

“We are also cooperating within the field of diplomatic training, in addition to which Hungary is providing scholarship places for 15 Cambodian students”, he noted.

In his statement, Prak Sokhonn stressed that he and his Hungarian negotiating partner had agreed to intensify bilateral relations, explaining that they had reviewed opportunities for bilateral cooperation, in addition to which they had discussed their positions on several international issues.

The Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister thanked Hungary for the support it has pledged, and particularly for the assistance it has offered within the field of water management.

Prior to the press conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Cambodian National Institute for Diplomatic and International Relations signed a cooperation agreement, and amongst others the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister and Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism concluded a tourism cooperation agreement.