During the ministerial session, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed to exchange expertise in the field of international cooperation, development funding between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Hungarian Foreign Ministry as well as another MOU in the field of social affairs which aims at enhancing joint cooperation and coordination in the various social fields.
During the session, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania El Mashat extended thanks to the Hungarian side on the warm welcome and hospitality, noting that both countries have established close and historical relations for approximately 100 years. She also said relations have been further enhanced through exchanging visits between the two countries’ leaders, citing the recent visit of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to Hungary as well as Hungarian President János Áder’s recent visit to Cairo.
Mashat pointed out to the efforts of the Egyptian State under Sisi’s leadership in deepening ties with various friendly countries with the aim of boosting economic relations with the Visegrád Group member states.
She also reviewed the progress of Egyptian-Hungarian relations over the past years, noting that the volume of trade exchange exceeded dlrs 400 million and that the number of Hungarian companies investing in Egypt is on the rise along with Hungarian tourists who reached 40,000.
On cooperation in the economic field, Mashat said Egypt is keen on moving ahead with beefing up cooperation and joint investments especially in the fields of industry, agriculture, food industries, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, water, renewable energy, communication, information technology and others.
The Hungarian minister, on his part, said that the committee meeting addressed the framework of strengthening relations between the two sides, noting that a priority will be given to food security, agriculture, transport, energy and gas.
On the transport field, Hungary has agreed on providing 1,350 railway carriages to the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA).
This order has now been expanded by another 50 railway carriages, bringing its value to around 1.1 billion euros from the previous 1 billion euros, Szijjarto said.
Reliable international partnerships have become even more important in light of the war in Ukraine, Szijjarto said, adding that relations between Hungary and Egypt were characterised by mutual respect, which had contributed to significant achievements.
Bilateral trade in agriculture reached a record 30 million dollars last year, up 80 percent from the year before, Szijarto said.
Hungary and Egypt are building new nuclear plant reactors with the same contractor and technology, Szijarto said, adding that this presented serious opportunities in bilateral technical, scientific and educational cooperation.
“We believe that nuclear energy is the energy of the future because it’s cheap, safe and a sustainable way of producing electricity,” the minister said, adding that Hungary and Egypt intended to establish broad nuclear cooperation.
The committee was attended by a galaxy of national bodies including Head of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Walid Gamal El Din, Head of the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI) Hossam Heiba, Egypt’s Ambassador in Hungary Mohamed El Shenawy and representatives of a number of ministries and the private sector.