Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Szijjarto Peter said Hungary wishes to establish strategic relations with Southeast Asian nations as part of its Eastward Opening policy.
Hungry attaches significant importance to its relationship with Vietnam, and wants Vietnam to be a pillar in relations between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said.
Lauding the development achievements HCM City has recorded, the minister said Hungary considers the city an economic, financial and technological centre of Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region in general.
Therefore, the reopening of the Consulate General in HCM City is essential, he affirmed.
The Consulate General’s leading task is to help Hungarian businesses engage in the city’s economic development, while connecting the two countries’ enterprises, the minister said, noting that Hungary’s Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) will grant credit worth about US$200 million to connection activities.
Nguyen Thi Thu, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee, highlighted active developments in the traditional friendship between the two countries in recent years, which, she said, saw the great benefits of the relationship between HCM City and the Hungarian capital city of Budapest since they were twinned.
The reopening of the Consulate General marks a milestone in the relationship between Vietnam’s southern metropolis and Hungary, and demonstrates the Hungarian Government’s attention to enhancing ties with Vietnam and HCM City in particular, she said.
Thu said that she hopes that the consulate will carry forward its role as a bridge for projects jointly carried out by HCM City and the European nation, contributing to boosting the two countries’ traditional friendship and co-operation.
On this occasion, Szijjarto Peter presented the Hungarian Knight of the Order of Merit Cross to Do Van Thanh, Hungary’s Honorary Consul in HCM City, for his contributions to the country’s diplomatic activities.
The same day, the Hungarian minister was received by Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem.
The host said HCM City stands ready to work as a bridge promoting relations between Hungary and Vietnam as well as other ASEAN nations.
Liem expressed his hope that the European nation will soon open an office of the Hungry National Trade Centre in the city to increase links between the two sides’ enterprises.
The municipal official informed his guest that HCM City and Budapest inked a cooperation agreement in 2015, focusing on health care, state management and music.
Liem called on the minister to create optimal conditions for the two localities’ relevant agencies to implement their joint projects.
In reply, Szijjarto Peter said the reopening of the Consulate General testifies Hungary’s desire to step up economic ties with HCM City and Vietnam at large.
Hungary always regards Vietnam as its important political and economic partner, he affirmed.
According to the minister, HCM City’s economic development strategy matches Hungary’s strengths in such areas as information technology, food processing, water resource management and pharmaceutical products.
Through meetings with local major firms, Hungarian businesses have found substantial potential and opportunities for co-operation with Vietnamese partners, he added.
Hungary is willing to cooperate with Vietnam and HCM City in particular, under various forms, the minister stated.