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During its European Union presidency in the second half of 2024, Hungary plans to re-start free trade negotiations between the bloc and Malaysia, the foreign minister said.
Speaking after talks with his Malaysian counterpart, Mohamad Hasan, Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday that improving the foreign trade ties of the EU was of paramount importance. Regarding the negotiations with Malaysia, which started some 10 years ago but were later abandoned, Szijjártó said: “Unfortunately, the EU wants to mix issues not pertaining to the economy and trade into those talks,” which he said may result in the EU becoming isolated. “We do not want to see that happening.” Meanwhile, the political cooperation agreement between the EU and Malaysia is yet to be ratified by 16 member states, he said. The Hungarian presidency will endeavour to convince those states to take that step, he added.
The two countries will also convene the first meeting of the Hungarian-Malaysian joint committee, Szijjártó said. Trade between the two countries has topped 830 million dollars, and will need further incentives, he added. Like Hungary, Malaysia was working to become a regional forerunner of e-vehicle transition, Szijjártó said.