The minister is scheduled to hold talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, discuss with Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien about a cultural cooperation programme. Both sides will also discuss the building of a Hungarian cultural centre in Vietnam.
Hungarian Ambassador to Vietnam Ory Csaba said Szijjártó will also attend a ceremony to inaugurate a ceramic road partly funded by the Hungarian embassy.
Szijjártó’s Vietnam visit is part of Hungary’s plan to boost its “Look East” policy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Szijjártó, the role of “the East” in the global economy has significantly improved in recent years and balanced bilateral ties with Eastern countries will bring benefits to Hungarian enterprises. The COVID-19 pandemic is shaping a new global economic order in which Hungary wants to be one of the winners.
The upcoming visit also proves Hungary’s appreciation for Vietnam’s role and position in its “Look East” policy.
Due to COVID-19 that led to disruptions in the global supply chain, Hungarian enterprises tend to diversify potential markets, including the movement of their manufacturing operations to Vietnam. As Hungary lies in the centre of Europe, the Vietnamese firms will have a chance to learn about nearby markets, contributing to popularising Vietnamese trademarks in Europe in the near future.
Despite the pandemic, trade between the two nations still hiked in the first half of this year, amounting to 456.76 million USD, up 43.11 percent year-on-year. Vietnam’s exports to the European nation were mostly electronics and spare parts, transportation equipment, footwear and apparel while importing machinery and pharmaceuticals.
The two countries are facing difficulties in the disbursement of a 500 million EUR preferential credit package funded by the Hungarian Government. Only 60 million EUR of which have been disbursed for the construction of Can Tho Cancer Hospital.
Additionally, tens of thousands of workers lost jobs in Hungary due to the pandemic. Around 2,700 Vietnamese guest workers are in the European nation.