Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to enhance traditional friendship with Hungary

Following his attendance at the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF-54) in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, accompanied by his spouse and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam, will embark on an official visit to Hungary at the invitation of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, marking the two countries' first exchange of delegations at the PM level in the past seven years.
PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to enhance traditional friendship with Hungary
PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to enhance traditional friendship with Hungary: PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) meets Hungarian President Katalin Novak within the framework of the COP28 in Dubai. (Photo: VNA)

Chairman of the Vietnam-Hungary Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City Prof. Le Minh Triet underscored Hungary's historical significance as one of the first countries to recognise Vietnam's independence.

Throughout the span of over 73 years, Vietnam has never forgotten the invaluable support extended by the Hungarian people during the crucial period of national construction and defence.

Noteworthy was Hungary's commitment during January 26, 1973-May 9, 1975 when it dispatched 636 military personnel, border guards, and civil and diplomatic staff to Vietnam for a peacekeeping mission. Tragically, two of them sacrificed their lives in April 1973 during their service. Hungary further contributed by providing training for nearly 3,500 sci-tech officers in Vietnam and waiving the country's debts dating back to 1973, a testament to the enduring friendship between the two nations.

The official visit to Hungary by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in 2018 marked the elevation of bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership. Hungary is now the sole comprehensive partner of Vietnam in the Central Eastern Europe.

During a joint press conference with Party General Secretary Trong, PM Orban introduced Hungary's "Opening to the East" policy to adapt to changes in the global landscape, including its strategic cooperation with Vietnam.

Trade relations have flourished, with two-way trade surpassing 355 million USD in 2017 and exceeding 785 million USD in the first 11 months of 2023. Vietnam is the sole Southeast Asian nation exporting a substantial volume to Hungary.

Both nations are actively promoting trade through the effective implementation of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and enhancement of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation mechanism. They aim to create favourable conditions for their goods to enter each other's markets and encourage Hungarian firms to increase investments in Vietnam, particularly in sectors of Hungary’s strength, such as pharmaceuticals, animal farming, food processing and renewable energy.

Hungary was among the first EU member countries to ratify the Vietnam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), showcasing their commitment to fostering economic ties.

To date, Vietnam has successfully negotiated and signed three framework agreements on financial cooperation with Hungary, totaling 535 million EUR.

Bilateral ties have expanded beyond trade, with significant collaboration in national defense and security, healthcare, education and training, and locality-to-locality ties. Hungary, unique in Eastern Europe, has consistently increased scholarships for Vietnamese students, reaching a notable figure of 200 scholarships.

The community of around 6,000 Vietnamese studying, living, and working in Hungary also serve as a vital bridge in fostering bilateral relations.

Furthermore, Hungary was at the forefront in supporting Vietnam during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses and various medical equipment, aiding Vietnam in overcoming the crisis and reviving its economy.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang emphasised that PM Chinh's visit is poised to enhance political trust and revitalise the enduring and friendly relations between the two nations.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse, and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation will attend the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland and pay official visits to Hungary and Romania from January 16-23.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)