“It is extremely favourable to Hungary from an economic perspective that it has the opportunity to cooperate with an African country that has a strong economy like Angola”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Angolan Republic Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti.
At the press conference following the meeting, Mr. Szijjártó said the attention of the more developed and affluent part of the world is increasingly turning to Africa in view of that fact that it is the most dynamically developing continent, and because in addition to its economic significance its security role is also continuously increasing in view of the migration situation.
He highlighted the fact that Angola has one of the strongest and most dynamically developing economies in Africa and is the continent’s largest oil producer and sixth largest diamond producer.
As the Minister explained the diversification of the previously oil-based economy opens an opportunity for Hungarian enterprises to play a role in the modernisation of the Angolan economy. Hungary can primarily play a role in modernising the country’s electricity supply, and in meeting demand for food imports, he added.
Mr. Szijjártó also recalled that the Hungarian Embassy in Luanda had recently been re-opened.
At the press conference following the meeting, an inter-governmental agreement was signed on economic and technological cooperation, in addition to which Eximbank has opened a 95 million dollar credit line to facilitate Hungarian-Angolan economic cooperation.
The Minister told the press that two global companies operating primarily within the field of energy, and which have major production capacities in Hungary, are in negotiation with Angola with regard to shipping 400 million dollars’ worth of turbines and transformers. The companies plan to manufacture these in Hungary, to which Eximbank is providing the required credit, meaning equipment designed to modernise Angola’s energy market could be shipped after being manufactured in Hungary.
Mr. Szijjártó also said that exports of Hungarian food industry technologies and products would also be launches in addition to which Hungary has offered 20 scholarship places for Angolan students to study at Hungarian universities from September of this year.
The Minister also mentioned that the security situation had also been a subject of discussion at the meeting. Africa is one of the sources of migration, and accordingly there is a need for strong and dynamically developing, responsibly thinking countries like Angola on the continent, from where immigrant do not set off for Europe because of the country’s level of economic development, he explained.
African countries must be provided with assistance to ensure that their economic development enters a suitable trajectory, he declared, adding that Hungary wishes to place major emphasis on economic cooperation with African countries. There are 1.2 billion people living in Africa, and it is clear that the only way of preventing Africa from becoming one of the major sources of migration pressure is to develop its countries’ economies, so that it will no longer be worthwhile leaving the continent, he noted.
“For this reason, instead of the extremely hypocritically and undoubtedly politically hyper-correct European immigration policy, what we need is to handle the immigration crisis at its source, or possible source”, he declared.
Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti said he was glad Hungary and Angola has re-established their previous friendship and highlighted the fact that his country has a great need for the abovementioned turbines in view of the fact that they are in the process of constructing dams to provide electricity. The country would like to realise 7.1 megawatts of electricity production during the next three years, he added.
The Angolan Foreign Minister also said that according to plan, Mr. Szijjártó will be visiting the African country in October and expressed his hope that the newly concluded cooperation agreement will result in closer cooperation between the two countries.
The Minister also said that he was impressed by the way Hungary had organised its protection against migration, indicating that the African continent must also face the problems of migration and terrorism, and cooperation between countries is vital to ensure global security and reduce terrorism.
The two ministers also discussed the possibility of security cooperation, with relation to which Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that over a hundred low to middle ranked Angolan officers were trained in Hungarian military academies in the 1980s, which is a good foundation for expanding cooperation. As he explained, the parties are primarily thinking in terms of cooperation between the European Union and Angola, and believe the EU “must honour” the performance of those African countries that are contributing to reducing the migration pressure on Europe coming from Africa.
Accordingly, if Angola requires assistance to assure its stability and the protection of its borders, Hungary will be an advocate for it receiving this assistance within the EU, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.