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Central Europe has a clear interest in good ties between East and West, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after receiving his Kyrgyz counterpart. Good ties embrace the opportunity for meaningful dialogue and a mutually beneficial Eurasian economic cooperation, Szijjártó added. Both countries are active participants of the Chinese Belt and Road initiative, now one of the world’s largest economic development schemes and a key guarantee of free trade, he said. Global free trade is talked about in vain if the necessary infrastructure is missing, Szijjártó said, adding that the Chinese initiative was precisely an attempt to create such conditions. He noted that last year Hungary secured observer status in the Turkic Council whose European representation would soon be located in Budapest. This will open up opportunities in Budapest to establish fresh economic, commercial, cultural and educational cooperation with Turkey and Central Asian countries such as Kyrgyzstan, he said.
Szijjarto said Hungarian economic interests were clearly identifiable in Kyrgyzstan. Pharmaceuticals account for 90% of Hungarian exports worth over 10 million US dollars, while water technology also provides an area of opportunity for Hungarian businesses. A 30 million dollar Eximbank credit line has been opened to provide financial support for bilateral business cooperation. Also talks on an investment protection agreement and a pact on avoiding double taxation are ongoing, he added. Hungary backs Kyrgyzstan’s application to the UN Security Council, he said, underscoring the important role played by Kyrgyzstan in the fight against terrorism. Chingiz Aidarbekov praised bilateral ties and welcomed Hungary’s observer status in the Turkic Council. Kyrgyzstan, he added, had quality organic products to offer Hungary’s market. He also pointed to the deepening of cultural relations.