Political relations between Laos and Hungary have been strengthened, encouraging Hungarian businesses to carry out investment projects with a value of nearly USD 200 million in Laos.
Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, warmly welcomed Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Péter Szijjártó, on Friday to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.
The two foreign affairs ministers have agreed to launch aid schemes helping Hungarian companies invest some USD 100 million in Laos under a “tied aid scheme” with the aim of helping the companies gain access to market opportunities in Laos.
Mr. Péter Szijjártó said that Hungarian companies are already playing an important role in Laotian agriculture, water management, and the development of electronic public services.
Investments in the Hungarian assistance programs amounting to $160 million are already underway to fund Hungarian companies working on development projects in Laos.
Hungarian companies are constructing animal breeding farms over UDS 35 million worth of projects and modernizing the capital’s sewage infrastructure through a USD 100 million investment, as well as improving the population registration scheme for USD 25 million, according to Mr. Szijjártó.
Investments also involve building hospitals, developing Laos’s national statistical system, and digitizing postal services, according to a report in Hungary Today.
Another important link between the two countries is a bilateral scholarship agreement allowing 100 Lao students to study in Hungary each year.
“We consider people-to-people contacts extremely important when it comes to bilateral relations between countries so far away from each other. The contribution that those people make to our relationship is very valuable, particularly those who have graduated from Hungarian universities in recent decades,” Mr. Szijjártó said.
Mr. Saleumxay thanked the government and people of Hungary for supporting Laos’ socio-economic development through its aid program and helping Laos to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
An office of the Hungarian Embassy in Bangkok was also opened in Vientiane on Friday, attended by Mr. Saleumxay, Mr. Szijjártó, and other senior officials from both sides.