On May 26-27, 2022, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, paid an official visit to India at the invitation of India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM), Dr. S. Jaishankar. Péter Szijjártó was accompanied by a high-level business delegation.
India- Hungary Bilateral Relations
i.India and Hungary have a long-standing and friendly relationship built on mutual trust and respect. It is characterized by significant ties between institutions, academia, culture, and people to people ties.
ii.India played a pivotal role in the 1956 uprising in Hungary.
iii. Dr. Arpad Goncz, who later served as President of Hungary from 1990 to 2000, was saved by India’s intervention in the Soviet Union.
Key Discussions Held Between EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar & Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó
i.EAM expressed gratitude to the Hungarian government for supporting the evacuation of nearly 6,000 Indian citizens across the Ukraine-Hungary border and for offering to accommodate evacuated Indian medical students in Hungarian universities.
ii.Both parties agreed to explore opportunities in sectors such as water, agriculture, food processing, health, science, and technology. The International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement was also signed by Hungary.
iii. Both sides also addressed cultural ties and looked forward to the celebrations of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, as well as the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India & Hungary in 2023.
iv.Both parties discussed the global economic situation, developments in India-European Union (EU) relations, the Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine, among other topics.
India-Hungary Business Forum 2022
The India-Hungary Business Forum 2022 was inaugurated on May 27, 2022, in New Delhi (Delhi), by Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India and the visiting Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Péter Szijjártó.
- The event, co-chaired by Péter Szijjártó & Meenakashi Lekhi, is seen as a significant step in unleashing the full trade and investment potential of India and Hungary. It was attended by leading business representatives from both countries.
The India-Hungary Business Forum 2022 is a joint initiative of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) & the Embassy of Hungary in New Delhi (Delhi) to strengthen business ties between India and Hungary.
Significant Occurrences During the Forum:
i.During the Business Forum, two commercial agreements were signed. Green hydrogen, solar energy, and nuclear energy have been identified as new areas of concentration for India and Hungary.
ii.Péter Szijjártó has identified 4 key areas for stronger India-Hungary relations: political issues, people-to-people contact, contractual conditions, and extending a 550-million-euro Line of Credit (LOC), exclusively to support India-Hungary business-to-business cooperation.
- Péter Szijjártó also met with Hardeep Sing Puri, India’s Minister of Housing, Urban Affairs, and Petroleum and Natural Gas, to discuss energy cooperation between India & Hungary.
- Hungary is constructing a new nuclear power plant that is expected to be operational by 2030.
- Following a 26% increase, trade between India and Hungary broke a massive record when it comes to the volume of trade in 2021, nearing USD 1 billion for the first time in history.
- Hungary increased the exports towards the east by 45 per cent and the volume of trade between Hungary and the eastern part of the world has increased by 40 per cent. In 2021, 60 per cent of all foreign investments into Hungary have come from the East.
- In 2021 the Indian companies were the 11th largest investing community in Hungary
India-Hungary MoU on International Solar Alliance (ISA)
On the occasion of the India-Hungary Business Forum 2022 in New Delhi, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar and Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the International Solar Alliance (ISA) & Hungary became the newest member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Both Ministers previously met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 22, 2021 in New York, United States, and at the Bled Strategic Forum on September 1-2, 2021 in Slovenia.
International Solar Alliance (ISA)
i.The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a collaborative platform for the increasing deployment of solar energy technology as a means for enhancing energy access, ensuring energy security, and driving energy transition in its member countries.
ii.It was developed as a joint initiative between India and France to mobilize efforts to combat climate change by deploying solar energy alternatives.
iii. It was conceived on the fringes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris (France) in 2015. All United Nations member states are eligible to join the ISA.
President – Katalin Novák
Prime Minister – Viktor Orban
Capital – Budapest
Currency – Forint (HUF) (HUF – Hungarian Forint)