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  • Thursday, 02 February 2023

The Egyptian-Hungarian Joint Committee Concludes its 4th Session by Signing 2 MoUs to Exchange Expertise in the Field of International Cooperation and Social Affairs & the Committee's Protocol

● Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation thanked the Hungarian side for the warm welcome and emphasized the importance of Egyptian-Hungarian relations.

● H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat: The MoUs signed at the fourth session set the stage for a new phase of joint action.

● The Government of Egypt is fully convinced that the private sector is a key partner in achieving development efforts.

● The past years have seen developments in all areas of joint work, especially tourism, trade and sustainable transport, reflecting the commitment to strengthen relations.

The 4th session of the Egyptian-Hungarian Joint Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, held in Budapest, Hungary, concluded with the ministerial session chaired by H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and H.E. Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade alongside with  H.E. Waleid Gamal El Din; and Head of the Egyptian Commercial Service, and H.E. Hossam Heiba; Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Egypt's Ambassador to Hungary, Mohamed Ibrahim El-Shennawy, and representatives of the participating ministries and the private sector. 

Representatives of the Egyptian-Hungarian Friendship Group, the Egyptian-Hungarian Business Council, the Hungarian Ambassador to Cairo, officials of the Ministries of Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Culture and Innovation, and other Hungarian government entities also participated from the Hungarian side.

During the ministerial session, a Memorandum of Understanding on Exchange of Expertise in the area of International Development Cooperation was signed between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Hungary, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Hungarian Ministry of Interior on the field of Cooperation in Social Affairs, as well as the Protocol of The Fourth Session of the Egyptian- Hungarian Joint Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation which includes a number of areas most notably trade and investment, finance, the Suez Canal, oil and gas, water resources and irrigation, electricity and energy, international cooperation, media, health, tourism.

She pointed to the efforts of the Government of Egypt under the leadership of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, to develop and deepen its relations with various brotherly and friendly countries to achieve mutual interests, as well as to strengthen economic relations with the “Visegrád Four” V4 of countries, through the participation of H.E. in the Visegrád summit, in 2017 and 2021, as the first president of the Middle East region, laying a foundation for the development of joint cooperation.

Al-Mashat reviewed the development of Egyptian-Hungarian relations over the past years as a result of the cooperation between the leaders of the two countries and the joint work to promote progress in all areas of cooperation, which was reflected in the increase in trade between the two countries to exceed $400 million dollars, the increase in the number of Hungarian companies investing in Egypt, the increase in the number of tourists to the level of 40 thousand tourists, and the deepening of joint cooperation in the field of railways and localization of industry, noting that the joint relations still have more opportunities to expand more in all priority areas.

The fourth session of the Egyptian-Hungarian Commission is being held at a time when the world is witnessing successive crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Russian-Ukrainian war and climate change, which casts its shadow on development efforts in the world, and also  highlights the importance of consultation and joint coordination through bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms to intensify efforts and overcome these challenges and try to overcome the negative effects of everything that happens in the world on the economies of developing and emerging countries.

H.E. expressed her aspiration that the MoUs and discussions held during the fourth session of the Joint Committee on further joint coordination and unification of visions on cooperation between Egypt and Hungary, in various fields and the creation of understandings between the private sector and investors from the two countries will witness success. The Minister stressed Egypt's commitment to move forward in consolidating cooperation and joint investments, especially in the fields of industry, agriculture, food, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, water, renewable energy, telecommunications, information technology, construction materials and other fields.

Additionally, Al-Mashat also stressed that the Government of Egypt is fully convinced that the private sector is a key partner in the implementation of efforts to achieve sustainable development, which is reflected in the economic and structural reforms implemented by the state to expand the base of private sector participation, and the issuance of a state ownership policy document that sets specific indicators and targets to increase private sector participation in development.

Al-Mashat added that Egypt is adopting an ambitious development strategy consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is working on implementing continuous economic and structural reforms to ensure sustainable, inclusive and green growth. This enables the country to face the economic repercussions during the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain economic growth rates.

The Hungarian Minister explained that this committee convened within the framework of the strong relations between the two sides, as this comes in line with the vision and priorities in the field of food and agricultural security, transport, energy and gas, and other areas of cooperation in these sectors, adding that there was a boom in exports last year. He added that the continuing these economic relations and working to increase them, especially in the field of transportation, is evident in the current cooperation through the signed agreement to supply 1,350 equipment for the Egyptian Railways Authority. He also stressed that the economic relations between the two countries are long-standing and the importance of exchanging experiences between the two countries, especially in the field of energy, is the priority of the state.

It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of International Cooperation, within its mandate, works on developing and strengthening economic relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and multilateral and bilateral development partners, in light of which the Ministry undertakes the preparation of joint committees with countries. This is one of the effective mechanisms to open the prospects of cooperation between Egypt and other countries in various fields.

The Ministry of International Cooperation oversees 68 committees between the Arab Republic of Egypt and countries from different continents of the world, including 8 Asian committees, 30 European committees, 14 committees with Arab countries, and 9 African committees, along with seven committees with Latin American countries.

Egypt and Hungary have long-standing relations. Egypt is the first Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with Hungary, and the exchange of diplomatic relations began in 1928. The Egyptian embassy in Budapest was opened in 1957, and following Hungary's accession to the European Union in 2004, the countries signed the New Economic Cooperation Agreement in 2007, under which three sessions of the Joint Egyptian-Hungarian Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation were held, the first in November 2008 in Cairo, the second in June 2015 in Budapest, and the third in Cairo in 2018.