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SZIJJÁRTÓ: EASTERN OPENING 'GOOD DECISION'

Addressing a Kyrgyz-Hungarian business forum in the Kyrgyz capital, Hungary's minister of foreign affairs and trade lauded Hungary's strategy of opening to the East launched ten years ago.
 

Péter Szijjártó said Hungary was a winner of shifts in the global economy thanks, to no small extent, to this strategy. He said many people had shown contempt for the strategy, which they contended would alienate the country from the western alliance. But it had since become clear, he added, that “our western friends only criticised us because they did not want to see us as rivals on Central Asian markets”. Whereas 81% of global investments were from the West and 17% from the East in 2007, the latter reached 58% last year as against 40% for the former. In Hungary, 60% of investments are from the East, which has also provided 40% of new jobs, he noted.
Szijjártó said there were no unresolved political issues between Hungary and Kyrgyzstan that hindered cooperation. Meanwhile, he welcomed Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov’s impending visit to Hungary in April and the upgrading of ties to a strategic partnership. The new Hungarian embassy with eleven officials in Bishkek is part of a process of deepening bilateral relations, he added.