ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan and Hungary Friday desired to develop 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 programme to be launched in Pakistan in the fields of agriculture, water, industry and food processing,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó said in a joint press stakeout here with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó arrived here on maiden official visit on the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart. Besides one-on-one meeting, 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 economic partnership we want to build,” Foreign Minister Qureshi said, apprising the media of the decisions reached between the two sides.
He 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 the sides also signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in the fields of diary production, cyber security and others, Qureshi added.
The foreign minister told the media that Hungary had also expressed interest in starting direct flights to Pakistan to enhance people-to-people contacts and promote business activities.
Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked for the Hungarian support to help Pakistan get GSP Plus status in the European Union, which doubled its export to the Europe.
He said both the sides also exchanged views on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as how the forum was used and how ought to be used. They 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 the Hungarian foreign minister was visiting Pakistan.
Péter Szijjártó told the 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 phenomena were the root causes of 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 the NATO pullout.
He appreciated the role played by Pakistan for Doha peace agreement between Taliban and the United States.
He said in order to extend its physical presence in Pakistan, Hungary had 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.
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