'Uzbekistan holds extraordinary economic opportunities for Hungarian enterprises, the market appearance of which is being facilitated by a 95-million-dollar credit line provided by the Hungarian Export-Import Bank', Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared during his visit to Tashkent on Thursday.
In a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI, Mr. Szijjártó said: 'Political and economic cooperation between the two countries has never been as active as it is today'. 'One of the foundations of Hungarian-Uzbekistani relations is political trust, the development of which was also facilitated by the fact that during the European high-point of the coronavirus epidemic Hungary received 650 thousand face masks for Uzbekistan to enable it to assure the protection of healthcare workers', Mr. Szijjártó added.
'Despite the epidemic, Uzbekistan is performing well economically, and this is something that Hungarian enterprises can also exploit', the Minister said. Mr. Szijjártó said Hungary has been included on the list of countries whose pharmaceutical companies can immediately distribute their products on the Uzbekistani market following a simplified procedure. 'In addition, more products made by Richter Gedeon Plc., Hungary's largest pharmaceutical company, have been included on the list of drugs that are subsidised by the state', he added. The politician emphasised that a dynamic and steep jump in Hungarian pharmaceutical exports can be expected, from the current level of 45 million dollars. 'This is indicated by the fact that, following an increase of 78 percent last year, Hungarian pharmaceutical exports to Uzbekistan grew by a further 43 percent during the first four months of this year', the Minister explained. 'In addition, Hungary is providing expert knowledge to assist the Central Asian country with the construction of a new nuclear power plant, and a Hungarian enterprise is in with a good chance of winning a bid for the shipment of the power plant's special cooling system within the framework of a 100-million-euro tender', he added.
The Minister pointed out that a special course for nuclear engineers is being launched at Budapest's University of Technology and Economics, which is also gaining major interest in Uzbekistan. 'Accordingly, today in Tashkent we signed a scholarship agreement within the framework of which Hungarian higher education institutions will be receiving 100 Uzbekistani students each year', he announced. Mr. Szijjártó also indicated that Uzbekistan's Mikrokreditbank is purchasing 2000 ATM machines from NCR Hungary Limited.
'In view of its geographical situation, Uzbekistan is vulnerable to the threat of extremist ideologies and terrorism', the Minister noted. 'Similarly to Central Europe, border protection is also a priority issue in Central Asia, towards which Tashkent wishes to make use of Hungarian technology and business solutions', he added.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade / MTI)