The visit is a historic event, as it is the first official visit by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam to one of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe since the regime transition in these nations. At the same time, the visit affirms Vietnam's policy of considering Hungary as a key traditional partner in Central and Eastern Europe.
Hungary is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. In particular, the capital city of Budapest is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Hungary is now a member of the European Union and NATO.
In recent years, Hungary has achieved remarkable achievements in economic development. Accordingly, after being strongly affected by the world financial crisis of 2008, the Hungarian economy has recovered since 2010. In 2017, its GDP growth rate reached 4%; the unemployment rate fell to 4%; and trade turnover increased by nearly 10%, of which export turnover reached more than EUR100 billion. In the first quarter of 2018, GDP growth was at 4.4%, up 0.3% over the same period in 2017.
In recent years, Hungary has steadied its political situation. The Hungarian Civic Alliance (FIDESZ) won three consecutive elections in 2010, 2014 and 2018 with overwhelming victories, winning two thirds of the seats in the National Assembly. After the recent parliamentary election, the new FIDESZ government, which was formed last May, continues to pursue the policies of the previous term, aiming to maintain a GDP growth rate of 4% a year, while seeking to keep stable finances and reduce the public debt and unemployment rate.
Hungarian Prime Minister V. Orban has set a long-term plan with the goal of establishing Hungary as one of the top five living and working EU member states by 2030, with high competitiveness, highly developed infrastructure and highly improved population indicators.
In terms of external relations, Hungary prioritises deep integration into Europe, strengthening relations with its neighbours and with the region. It also focuses on energy diplomacy, protecting the interests of the Hungarian community in neighbouring countries, and restoring and fostering relations with traditional partners, seeing Vietnam as a leading partner in Southeast Asia.
Vietnam and Hungary have a traditional friendship and mutual trust. In recent years, bilateral cooperation has developed strongly. The two sides regularly maintain exchanges of delegations at all levels, especially at senior levels. Economic and trade relations between the two countries have increased sharply, with trade turnover in 2017 reaching over US$355 million for the first time. The Hungarian government offers a US$500 million preferential credit package to support development projects in the fields of healthcare, water treatment, informatics and agriculture. So far, Hungary has invested in 17 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of more than US$63 million, ranking 57th among 126 countries and territories with direct investment in Vietnam.
Cooperation has also been promoted in the fields of legislation, justice, national defence and security, and healthcare at local levels, in which education and training is the traditional field between the two countries. Hungary has previously helped Vietnam train thousands of experts and engineers with high qualifications. In recent years, Hungary has continuously increased the number of scholarships for Vietnam (currently 200 scholarships per year). The Vietnamese Party has established formal relations with the ruling FIDESZ Party and maintains its traditional relationship with the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Hungarian Workers’ Party.
The official visit to Hungary by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is an important political event, marking new milestones, new momentum and new heights for Vietnam-Hungary relations. The visit is also an opportunity to enhance the mutual understanding and trust between the leaders and people of the two countries, contributing to deepening the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two, aiming to raise the framework of bilateral cooperation to a comprehensive partnership, in order to create a new and more substantial change in all fields, thereby enhancing the country's position, as well as consolidating and promoting Vietnam's influence in Central-Eastern Europe.
May Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong's official visit to Hungary be a great success, bringing the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary to new heights, for the interests of the people of both countries and for the peace, stability, cooperation and development of the region and the world.