ASTANA, February 8, 2019 - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for media representatives by the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Hungary with the concurrent accreditation to Serbia and Macedonia, Nurbakh Rustemov, on Kazakh-Hungarian relations. The honorary guests included the Ambassador of Hungary to Kazakhstan Andras Barani and the Ambassador of Serbia Vladan Matic.
“The year 2019 is marked by the 5th anniversary of establishing a strategic partnership between Astana and Budapest, which is gaining new momentum. Hungary is the first and so far the only Central and Eastern European country with which Kazakhstan has such level of cooperation,” the Ambassador noted.
In light of the new tasks for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the field of investment attraction and export promotion, Kazakh-Hungarian cooperation has great prospects. Approximately 50 joint ventures with the participation of the Hungarian capital and the Kazakh-Hungarian Business Council are currently operating in Kazakhstan.
The Kazakh diplomat noted that Kazakhstan is the fourth largest trading partner of Hungary among the CIS countries. The volume of bilateral trade over 10 months of 2018 amounted to $124.7 million (export - 24 million, import - 100.7 million).
The Kazakh-Hungarian Agricultural Direct Investment Fund financed two projects in 2018 worth $10 million each – a greenhouse complex in the Aktobe region and the planting of apple orchards in South Kazakhstan, as well as the construction of warehouses and equipment supply.
The launch of direct flights between Astana and Budapest last year was a landmark event in bilateral relations. More than 40,000 passengers have used the service run by Wizz Air.
Ambassador Rustemov announced that a business forum with the participation of representatives of businesses of the two countries will be held on March 5-6 in Budapest to discuss the implementation of specific investment projects in Kazakhstan.
This visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto, who will participate in the Astana Economic Forum, is also expected this year.
The development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation was also discussed.
It was noted that the Government of Hungary allocated 250 scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs for the 2019/2020 academic year. More than 500 Kazakh citizens are currently studying under the Stipendium Hungaricum program in Hungary.
Mr Rustemov also shared his assessment of the current state of bilateral relations with Serbia and Macedonia.
The briefing was the first of a series of special media meetings focused on economic diplomacy with ambassadors of Kazakhstan. The initiative is aimed at informing the public about the current state and prospects of development of foreign policy and foreign economic relations with other countries and the role of Kazakh foreign missions in this activity.