Strong Hungary-Kazakhstan ties benefit both countries economically while boosting Hungary’s energy security, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said at a meeting of the Hungarian-Kazakh Business Council, the ministry said on Thursday. Kazakhstan “is an important strategic partner” in Central Asia and a key player in the development of Hungary’s eastern relations, the ministry said quoting Varga in a statement. He said the government’s Eastern Opening policy announced in 2010 had produced tangible results for both countries. Bilateral trade turnover exceeded 420 million dollars in 2021, with Hungarian exports concentrated in pharmaceuticals, Varga noted, adding that the green economy, water management, agriculture, and the energy and health sectors were promising areas of cooperation. The minister noted the cultivation of hybrid corn seeds by Hungarian companies in Kazakhstan and prospective natural gas extraction there by Hungarian oil and gas company MOL. Hungary can form a bridge between Kazakhstan and the European Union, Varga said. The 8th meeting of the Hungarian-Kazakh Economic Cooperation Intergovernmental Committee is being held in Budapest in the next few days, with a large delegation headed by Alibek Kuantyrov, Kazakhstan’s economy minister.
Varga is the co-chairman of the Hungarian-Kazakh Intergovernmental Economic Cooperation Committee and president of the Hungarian-Kazakh Friendship Group of parliament.