Kazakhstan and Hungary Enhance Strategic Partnership

On 6 May, in Budapest Roman Vasilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, and Adam Stifter, Deputy Secretary of State of Hungary's Ministry of External Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs, recently convened for the latest round of political consultations between Kazakhstan and Hungary.

The agenda for the meeting delved into bolstering trust-based political cooperation, expanding mutual trade, implementing joint investment projects, enhancing transport and logistics, fostering developments in agriculture, energy, and education, among other crucial topics.

Both sides affirmed the establishment of a robust political dialogue, noting mutual understanding on pressing geopolitical matters. They reiterated support for each other’s initiatives at various international platforms, highlighting the significant outcomes of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s visit to Astana and his meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu’s visit to Budapest in November 2023, which propelled bilateral cooperation forward.

The diplomats expressed satisfaction with the increase in bilateral trade turnover, which amounted to $187.6 million in 2023, marking an 8.9% rise according to Kazakh statistics. Adam Stifter emphasized Hungary’s commitment to further enhancing trade and economic cooperation with Kazakhstan, acknowledging Kazakhstan as Hungary’s primary partner in Central Asia.

Both parties updated the list of priority joint business projects and agreed to intensify collaboration in specific sectors such as energy, agriculture, and banking.

Attention was also drawn to Kazakhstan-European Union cooperation, particularly with Hungary set to assume the EU Council presidency in the second half of 2024. The Kazakh diplomat wished Hungary success in this significant role, expressing confidence in its effective execution for the benefit of the EU and its partners, including Kazakhstan.

The meeting also highlighted the enduring historical ties and fraternal relations between the peoples of both nations, with discussions on cultural and humanitarian cooperation, utilization of the “Stipendium Hungaricum” program allowing Kazakh students to study in Hungarian universities, and preparations for the upcoming V World Nomad Games in Astana.

During his visit, R. Vasilenko engaged in discussions with Marton Sheberle, Director of the Hungarian Institute of International Relations, focusing on current multilateral agenda items and expressing mutual interest in expanding cooperation through research institutes in both countries.

Notable economic statistics between Kazakhstan and Hungary were also shared, including a gross inflow of direct investment from Hungary to Kazakhstan amounting to $320 million since 2005, and the presence of 29 legal entities, branches, and representative offices with Hungarian participation, along with 41 joint ventures in Kazakhstan. Additionally, approximately a thousand Kazakh students are currently studying at Hungarian universities, with Hungary annually offering 250 grants for Kazakh students.


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