ISLAMABAD, As Pakistan and Hungary Friday desired to develop an economic partnership, the latter agreed to establish a credit line of $84 million for business-to-business cooperation and provide another $50 million for tied aid program.
“We have established a credit line at Hungarian EXIM bank to the extent of $84 million which is exclusively to serve the enhancement of business to business cooperation between Pakistani and Hungarian companies… We are ready to provide $50 million for a tied aid credit program to be launched in Pakistan in fields of agriculture, water, industry and food processing,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó said in a joint press stakeout with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó arrived here on their maiden official visit on the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart. Besides the one-on-one meetings, both the foreign ministers also held delegation-level talks in addition to attending a business conference to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral economic cooperation.
“This rolls the ball for the economic partnership we want to build,” Foreign Minister Qureshi said apprising the media of the decisions reached between the two sides.
Qureshi said Péter Szijjártó was accompanied by representatives from 17 top Hungarian companies which interacted with Pakistani companies in a matchmaking B2B event held under the Economic Diplomacy Initiative
Both sides also signed a number of MoUs in fields of diary production, cybersecurity, and others, Qureshi added.
The foreign minister told the media that Hungary had also expressed interest in starting direct flights between Pakistan to enhance people-to-people contact and promote business activity.
Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked for the Hungarian support to help Pakistan get GSP Plus status in European Union which doubled the Pakistan’s export to Europe.
He said both the sides also exchanged views on FATF as to how the forum was used and how ought to be used. Both sides agreed that the FATF should not be used as political tool rather only for checking money laundering and terror financing.
The two countries agreed to hold their next round of political consultation in Budapest. Qureshi said it was after 15 years that Hungarian foreign minister was visiting Pakistan.
Péter Szijjártó told media that by visiting Pakistan after hiatus of 15 years, he had broken the unpleasant situation.
He said the Hungarian government had understood the security and economic significance of the region.
Reiterating his country’s commitment against terrorism and extremist ideologies, he said both the phenomenon were the root causes massive illegal migration to Europe.
Referring to the Afghan situation, he said if the two ideologies were not stopped there, those could also pose threats to Europe. Therefore, he said the European Union should support Pakistan in its anti-terror efforts particularly after the pullout of NATO troops from Afghanistan.
He said Afghanistan should not be allowed to become a safe haven for terrorism and extremist ideologies after NATO pullout.
He appreciated the role played by Pakistan for Doha peace agreement between Taliban and US.
He said in order to extend its physical presence in Pakistan, Hungary has established its consular representation in Karachi.
Moreover, he said both the sides also signed an MoU under which Hungary would provide scholarships to 200 Pakistani students. The MoU was signed by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood and Péter Szijjártó.
Government of Hungary under an agreement “Scholarships for Pakistani Students” will award as many as 200 scholarships in higher education to Pakistani students.
It was agreed during a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) signing ceremony held here Friday between the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto at Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi also witnessed the Ceremony.
Under the MoU, Hungary will provide as many as 200 scholarships in higher education to Pakistani students.
It is to mention here that Hungary was awarding scholarships to Pakistan in higher education from 2016.