Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban arrived in Ulaanbaatar on January 24 for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg. Orban held talks with his Mongolian counterpart to discuss cooperation opportunities, and called on President Ts.Elbegdorj and Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold.
During the Hungarian Premier’s visit, Hungarian and Mongolian officials also signed an agreement on the opening of a 25 million USD credit line from Hungarian Export Import Bank to finance the restoration of Biocombinat, Mongolia’s largest biotechnology firm producing veterinary vaccines.
Prime Minister Orban was accompanied by the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister of Defense, Minister of Economy and Transport, Minister of National Development, and the Minister of Agriculture, as well as over 60 potential Hungarian investors representing around 40 Hungarian companies seeking opportunities to work with Mongolian companies. With the visit, Viktor Orban has become the first Prime Minister of Hungary to conduct an official visit to Mongolia.
Beginning their official talks, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg noted, “Mongolia and Hungary share ancient historical connections. The countries have shared features, as both are landlocked countries, both were once members of the socialist block, and both have experienced democratic free market economy transitions.
“In recent years, the relations of Mongolia and Hungary have been expanding under mutual effort. The Hungarian President and Foreign Minister paid a visit to Mongolia, and Hungary resumed the operations of its embassy in Ulaanbaatar in 2015, which means that the Government of Hungary is attaching great importance to relations with Mongolia.”
Mentioning demands to take bilateral economic relations and cooperation to a new stage, Ch.Saikhanbileg proposed establishing a factory that meets European standards and is prepared to release products for the international market. Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg asked his Hungarian counterpart to study opportunities to create a joint investment fund to support the private sectors of the two countries and their joint projects, as well as the opening of the credit line for Biocombinat.
Ch.Saikhanbileg shared Mongolia‘s interest in carrying out economic and technical feasibility studies with Hungary to plan the comprehensive renovation of the state-owned Biocombinat factory. He noted that intensification of the renovation project will provide impetus to the expansion of bilateral economic relations and cooperation. He also said that Mongolia wants Hungarian investment in Mongolia to increase and asked Viktor Orban to pay attention to increasing trade circulation between the two countries and making trade mutually beneficial.
Ch.Saikhanbileg noted that projects mentioned in a cooperation memorandum signed by the agriculture ministers of the two countries in 2011 need to be intensified, and stated Mongolia’s interest in studying Hungary’s experience in meat and meat product processing.
Pointing out that Mongolia and Hungary have cooperation experience in the mining sector, Ch.Saikhanbileg mentioned new cooperation opportunities in exploration and the research of rare earth metals in Mongolia, and proposed cooperation in organizing geological exploration mapping.
The two Prime Ministers discussed opportunities for building a livestock-generated raw material processing complex and a satellite city for its workers as part of the Biocombinat project.
Agreeing to study Ch.Saikhanbileg’s proposals, and promising to pay attention to improving trade circulation between the two countries, Prime Minister Orban suggested consideration of cooperation in water reserve research, studying groundwater reserves, and the production of medicine, medical products, equipment, and tools, as Hungary has experience in these fields.
“Cooperation between Ulaanbaatar and Budapest is under intensive development. The two cities have recently established a cooperation agreement to build an eco-bus factory, a smart business and entertainment center, and to establish flood management of the Tuul River, as well as construction material, agricultural product, and food processing factories.
“A total of 400 students have studied in Hungary with Hungarian scholarships, with the majority obtaining an education in the health science sector. As of today, 100 students are studying in Hungary on scholarship, and the number of new scholarships for Mongolian students can reach 200,” the Hungarian Premier emphasized. Orban said that additional scholarships should be granted to students who will study for projects that Mongolia and Hungary will cooperate on.
Following the official talks of the Prime Ministers, Foreign Affairs Minister of Mongolia L.Purevsuren and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto signed bilateral cooperation documents concerning the validity of bilateral treaties between Mongolia and Hungary;
an agreement between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of Hungary on the establishment of a framework program for financial cooperation, including the agreement on opening a 25 million USD credit line to finance the revamp of Biocombinat; a memorandum of understanding between Development Bank of Mongolia and Hungarian Export-Import Bank; a contract of cooperation between the national registration and statistics offices of Mongolia and the Hungarian banknote printing and shareholding company; and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Ulaanbaatar City Government and privately-owned Budapest Waterworks limited by shares.