We have moved closer to the goal set by President Erdoğan – Hungarian FM on Turkish-Hungarian economic relations

February 15. 2024. – 02:17 PM



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Trade turnover between Hungary and Turkey reached a record high last year and the two sides have taken important steps towards further strengthening economic relations, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Ankara on Thursday. The Foreign Minister arrived at the meeting with eleven Hungarian business executives.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, after the inaugural meeting of the joint Hungarian-Turkish Trade and Economic Committee, the minister said that Turkey is one of Europe's biggest economies, so cooperation with it is clearly in Hungary's national interest.

"We have moved another step closer to the goal set for us by President Erdoğan, which is to increase trade turnover between the two countries to six billion dollars within a short period of time," Szijjártó said.

He stressed that the volume of bilateral trade was 4.3 billion dollars last year, which is an increase of 18 percent and a new record. Furthermore, Hungarian exports to Turkey broke the record with a 29 percent increase, which also contributed to setting the new record of €150 billion in exports overall.

In his speech, Szijjártó also mentioned several successful collaborations:

  • Medicor's medical instrument factory in Ankara will soon begin production;
  • The State Printing Company has been involved in the development and production of the new Turkish passport;
  • Hell sold 19 million cans of energy drinks last year,
  • while Hunland sold some 71,000 bovines in the country;
  • a joint Turkish-Hungarian military enterprise was set up to fulfill an order for 400 combat vehicles for the Hungarian Defence Forces;
  • and V-Híd formed an alliance with the biggest Turkish railway construction company to jointly participate in as many railway construction projects as possible in Europe and beyond.

The text of the contract on the purchase of natural gas has also been finalised, allowing Hungary's MVM to sign a contract with the Turkish BOTAS. According to this contract, the delivery of 275 million cubic metres of natural gas from Turkey to Hungary will begin in the second quarter of this year.

"This means that Hungary is the first country that isn't Turkey's next-door neighbour to which Turkey exports natural gas," Szijjártó stressed.

As regards energy cooperation, the minister also announced that – building on their already existing strategic cooperation – the Hungarian oil giant MOL and the Turkish oil company TPAO will start preparations for the joint exploitation of new oil and gas reserves which were recently discovered in the south-east of Turkey. In addition, the two countries are launching a comprehensive nuclear energy cooperation which Szijjártó said is possible because nuclear power plants using the same technology are currently being built in both Hungary and Turkey.

Finally, the minister said that starting in July, Hungary will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union, and one of the main priorities for that time will be to speed up the process of modernising and expanding the customs union between the EU and Turkey. "This is partly a European economic interest and partly our own national-economic interest".

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