Vietnamese, Hungarian PMs hold talks
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest on January 18 afternoon (local time) as part of his official visit to the European nation from January 18-20.
Vietnamese PM Pham Minh Chinh (left) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban meet in Budapest on January 18 afternoon__Photo: VNA

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest on January 18 afternoon (local time) as part of his official visit to the European nation from January 18-20.

The Hungarian PM underlined the significance of the Vietnamese PM’s visit in the context that the two countries have marked five years of the comprehensive partnership (2018-2023) and are looking towards the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1950-2025).

PM Orban affirmed that Vietnam is always Hungary’s partner of leading importance in Southeast Asia and believed that the visit would contribute to deepening the two countries’ relations.

PM Chinh expressed his joy with Hungary’s socio-economic achievements and believed in the country’s further development in the near future.

He affirmed that Vietnam always treasures and wishes to intensify cooperation with Hungary – its first comprehensive partner in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Vietnamese Government leader took the occasion to thank the government and people of Hungary for their valuable assistance to Vietnam in the past struggle for national independence and reunification as well as the present national construction and development, most recently the provision of hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines and medical equipment for Vietnam at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was developing complicatedly.

PMs Pham Minh Chinh and Viktor Orban witness the signing of a cooperation document between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the Hungarian Ministry of Interior after their talks in Budapest on January 18 afternoon__Photo: VNA

The two PMs discussed major orientations and specific measures to elevate the Vietnam-Hungary comprehensive partnership to a new height.

On politic-diplomatic cooperation, the two sides agreed to increase contacts and delegation exchanges at all levels through Party, State, Government, parliament and people-to-people channels to strengthen political trust and mutual understanding, creating a foundation to promote and expand bilateral cooperation in all fields.

Regarding economic-trade-investment collaboration, they agreed that this is an important pillar in the bilateral relations, while affirming the need to further promote existing cooperation mechanisms, including the early organisation of the 10th meeting of the joint committee on economic cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary. They encouraged agencies and businesses of both sides to continue fully, effectively implement the European Union - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Chinh suggested Hungary create favorable conditions for more Vietnamese goods to Hungary, especially agro-forestry-fishery products, while affirming Vietnam stands ready to serve as a gateway for Hungarian commodities to access the Vietnamese and ASEAN markets.

He also thanked Hungary for its support to Vietnam in the negotiation and signing of the EVFTA and being the first EU member to ratify the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA)

Orban affirmed that Hungary, as President of the EU for the last six months of 2024, will promote the remaining countries to ratify the agreement.

Chinh proposed the European Commission (EC) soon remove the “yellow card” warning for Vietnam’s seafood.

Orban said Vietnam is one of Hungary’s most promising markets in the Asia-Pacific region and many Hungarian businesses are interested in expanding investment and business in the Southeast Asian nation. He welcomed the two sides’ organization of a Vietnam-Hungary business forum during Chinh’s visit, offering opportunities for the direct exchange and connection of both countries’ firms. He vowed to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to invest in Hungary in such potential areas as information technology and auto industry.

On education and training, the two sides welcomed recent positive outcomes. Chinh thanked the Hungarian government for its provision of 200 scholarships for Vietnamese students every year. Both sides also welcomed the direct, closely and effective cooperation mechanism between the two countries’ universities, reflected via a series of memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed by Vietnamese and Hungarian training establishments during the visit.

In addition, the two sides concurred to enhance cooperation in other traditional areas such as culture – sports – tourism, labor, science-technology, environment, agriculture and water management, while striving to expand collaboration in new fields such as circular economy, innovation, green finance, renewable energy and digital transformation.

PM Orban spoke highly of the role of the Vietnamese community in Hungary. PM Chinh proposed the Hungarian government continue creating favorable conditions for the Vietnamese expats to deeply integrate into local society, thus contributing to promoting traditional friendship between the two countries in all fields.

Discussing international and regional issues of shared concern, the two PMs affirmed to support resolving disputes by peaceful measures, in line with international law and the United Nations Charter, including not using force or threatening to use force; and ensuring peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

Following the talks, PMs Chinh and Orban witnessed the signing and hand-over of cooperation documents between the countries’ ministries, sectors, and agencies, including an agreement between the two governments on cooperation in combating organized transnational crimes, a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and a cultural cooperation program between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and Innovation for the 2024 - 2026 period.

After that, the two PMs co-chaired a press conference announcing the outcomes of their talks.

PM Orban told the media that amid the world situation’s volatility, Hungary has recently implemented a Look East policy that considers the cooperation with Vietnam, an emerging country with a growing role in the region and the world, as critically important.

Since the two countries share many similarities in terms of history, culture, and geopolitical positions in the international arena, they agreed to further enhance cooperation in all spheres, including making use of the EVFTA and EVIPA and boosting ties in education, training, science, technology, and tourism, he said.

Orban added that having undergone many wars, both countries have a common viewpoint about peace, so they will support each other at regional and international forums and attach importance to peace, stability, cooperation, and development.

PM Chinh highlighted Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralization of external relations, being a good friend, trustworthy partner, and responsible member of the international community, and following the “bamboo” diplomatic style. In its foreign policy, Vietnam treasures the traditional relations with Hungary, the only in Central and Eastern Europe to have a comprehensive partnership with it.

During the talks, the two sides expressed their wish to promote cooperation in all fields, agreeing to increase mutual visits at all levels and supporting each other at multilateral forums, including setting up a mechanism for bilateral interactions when they attend multilateral activities, the Vietnamese Government leader noted.

He said that he also called on Hungary to soon recognize the Vietnamese community in Hungary as an ethnic minority so that they can benefit from policies as equally as other ethnic groups of Hungary.

PM Chinh added he called on Hungary to support ASEAN’s stance on and centrality in the East Sea issue, which are peacefully resolving disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; and supporting the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the negotiation on a substantive and effective code of conduct in the waters (COC).- (VNA/VLLF)

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