“Hungary is funding Vietnam’s economic and social development through tied aid loans, and is cooperating with Vietnam to increase tourism, and within the fields of vocational training and family funding”, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novák from the Ministry of Human Capacities said in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI from Hanoi on Monday.

The State Secretary visited Vietnam as the head of a Hungarian Fidesz parliamentary delegation with three members of the Vietnam-Hungary friendship group: Kristóf Szatmáry, Zsolt Csenger-Zalán and Árpád Potápi. The visit was also made actual by the fact that the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

The delegation met with the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, the governing party’s member responsible for foreign affairs, and with the country’s social, labour and disability affairs minister.

“Vietnam is a dynamically developing country with a rate of economic growth that is permanently around seven percent, parallel to significant social development and the continuous reduction of poverty”, Ms. Novák pointed out.

“Trade volume between the two countries is continuously increasing. Hungary is facilitating the country’s development through tied aid loan programmes, and amongst others is constructing an oncological hospital here within the framework of a major investment project, and has helped to develop Vietnam’s population registration system. The two countries are also cooperating with relation to the development of tourism”, the State Secretary told the press.

The topics of discussion during the delegation’s negotiations included the demographic challenges faced by certain countries and the fact that while the population is decreasing in Hungary and in Europe in general, this phenomenon is as yet unknown in Southeast Asia, but is expected. For this reason, the Vietnamese administration also recognises the importance of placing families at the centre of social and economic policy, and is interested in Hungarian practice.

Cooperation between the job market and vocational training is also important to Hanoi. Hungary is providing state scholarships to 200 Vietnamese students at Hungarian higher education institutions for courses that correspond to Vietnam’s requirements.

The Hungarian Embassy in Hanoi will be organising several cultural programs this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. “The soon to be opened Hungarian Cultural and Community Centre will play a significant role in the proliferation of Hungarian culture”, Ms. Novák said.