State President begins Hungary visit

(VOV) – State President Truong Tan Sang began an official three-day visit to Hungary on September 15, demonstrating Vietnam’s desire to strengthen cooperation with this European nation.

He is scheduled to hold talks with President Janos Ader and meet with other senior Hungarian leaders.

They will discuss measures to boost traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries in economics, trade, investment, science-technology, the environment, and education and training.

He will also attend a Vietnam-Hungary business forum, visit a number of economic centres, and meet with representatives of the Vietnamese community in Hungary.

Located in central Europe, Hungary established diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1950 one year after it founded the Republic of Hungary, laying a foundation for the traditional friendship and cooperative relations between the two countries.

Despite political upheavals, this European Union nation attaches importance to restoring and strengthening relations with its traditional partners, including Vietnam – one of its priority countries in Southeast Asia.

Over the past six decades, Vietnamese people have borne in mind Hungarian people’s valuable assistance to Vietnam’s past struggle for national independence, especially the movement “Vietnam, we are always with you”. Hungary launched blood donation drives and gave material donations to Vietnam.

Hungary joined an international committee overseeing the implementation of the 1973 Paris Peace Accord in Vietnam, trained nearly 3,500 scientists and engineers, and wrote off debts Vietnam owed before 1973.

Although Hungary changed its political regime in the early 1990s, bilateral relations continued to develop with new opportunities.

Over the past decade, both countries have maintained regular exchanges of high-level visits, including those to Vietnam by President Laszlo Solyom in 2008, Prime Minister Dutran Pherenso in 2005 and Parliament Speaker Sili Kotolin in 2004.

Budapest also welcomed Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2009, the then National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong in 2008, the then State President Tran Duc Luong in 2004, and many other senior leaders.

Both countries have signed almost all framework agreement on trade and economic cooperation. Two-way trade has grown steadily over the years, reaching US$121 million in 2012.

Since 2003 Hungary has included Vietnam in the list of its ODA recipients, committing US$115 million to health care and environmental protection to date.

Education and training is one of the key pillars in bilateral cooperation. Hungary is willing to increase scholarships for Vietnamese students through a cooperation programme between the two countries’ education ministries.

President Sang’s visit is expected to bring relations between Vietnam and Hungary to a new level and contribute to stronger cooperation between ASEAN and the EU.

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