‘Bangladesh has one of the world’s largest populations and one of its most rapidly growing economies, and this creates the foundations for us to establish a mutually advantageous economic cooperation, which will create an opportunity for Hungarian enterprises to enter the market in the Southeast Asian country’, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI following talks with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen in Dhaka on Thursday.
During his visit to the capital of Bangladesh, Mr. Szijjártó also held talks with, amongst others, Minister of Trade Tipu Munsi, and was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Minister announced that Hungary will be opening a consular representation in Dhaka. According to Mr. Szijjártó, cooperation between the two countries is also important in view of the fact that a new global economic order is coming about, and there is huge competition between countries and enterprises for increasingly good positions. ‘It is important to Hungarian enterprises that they are able to appear on such a large market of some 170 million people, while the technological development that Hungarian enterprises are able to provide are important to Bangladesh’, he explained.
According to Mr. Szijjártó, the parties agreed on three main areas of cooperation, including the field of nuclear energy. ‘Bangladesh is currently constructing its nuclear power plant, the two reactors of which will be coming into commission in 2024-2025. In view of the fact that Hungary has been using nuclear energy for almost forty years, Bangladesh is showing major interest in Hungarian training and education opportunities. A good many of Bangladesh’s future nuclear engineers and experts will be trained in Hungary, in view of which we are increasing the current one hundred scholarship places maintained for students from Bangladesh to attend Hungarian universities by a further thirty’, Mr. Szijjártó said.
‘Another important area of cooperation will be the field of healthcare technologies, in view of the fact we are able to start off from an excellent foundation in this area’, the Hungarian politician said, explaining that a Hungarian medical team was recently able to successfully separate a pair of Siamese twins in Bangladesh, which could provide a good foundation for future cooperation within the field of medical technologies.
‘And thirdly, another important area of cooperation will be the field of water-related technologies, in view of the fact that Hungary possesses highly developed water management technologies. Bangladesh is specifically looking for such technologies because of the regular flooding that occurs in the country. There is also huge demand for the organised and regulated irrigation of agricultural areas’, Mr. Szijjártó said.
The Minister explained that Bangladesh plays an important tole in the fight against terrorism and religious extremism. ‘This is why it is important for the European Union to enter into close cooperation with Bangladesh within this area, since waves of migration also set out towards Europe from this region, and these must be prevented’, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out, adding that the best instrument for achieving this is counter-terrorism cooperation and cooperation against religious extremism.
‘Bangladesh is also facing a refugee crisis. Large numbers of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh’, he stated. ‘For this reason, we share the viewpoint that the opportunity must be created for all people to prosper and to live in peace and security in their own homelands. Instead of generating more waves of migration, we must help people in difficult circumstances to return home, and to be able make their way in life at home’, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)