New Deal on Joint Use of Suez Canal Economic Zone Signed by Hungary & Egypt

  • 1 Mar 2023 3:18 PM
  • Hungary Matters
New Deal on Joint Use of Suez Canal Economic Zone Signed by Hungary & Egypt
The governments of Hungary and Egypt have signed an agreement on cooperation in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), giving Hungarian companies a good chance to launch investments in the region, the Hungarian foreign minister said.

Péter Szijjártó told a Hungarian-Egyptian business forum in Cairo that the government had “created the best possible conditions” for successful cooperation between the two countries’ companies. In political cooperation, Hungary and Egypt signed a strategic partnership agreement earlier in the day, he said.

Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 100 million euro credit line to financially support cooperation between Hungarian and Egyptian businesses, he added.

On bilateral economic ties, Szijjártó noted that in a flagship project of cooperation, the Hungarian transport industry received the largest commission of its history from Egypt, and has recently delivered 1,350 railway carriages.

Szijjártó said the delegation to Egypt included businessmen representing “world-class Hungarian technology” in water management, infocommunications and transport, hoping to “conduct fruitful talks” with Egyptian companies.

Earlier in the day, Szijjártó said Egypt and Hungary had been in long-term cooperation based on mutual respect, with both countries profiting a lot in the recent period. He said that during their official visit in Cairo, the Hungarian delegation will sign several agreements including one on nuclear cooperation aimed at an exchange of experience, training experts and student exchange programmes.

Szijjártó also announced the start of negotiations on buying liquefied natural gas from Egypt to be used in Hungary from 2026, thus increasing the country’s energy security.

According to Szijjártó, higher education cooperation with Egypt will also be promoted, with the number of scholarships at Hungarian universities for Egyptian students increasing from an annual 115 to 200.

Concerning the Ukraine war, Szijjártó said “Egypt is also in the peace camp … urging a diplomatic solution”.

The country is “part of the global majority, which undoubtedly falls outside Europe, but which is eager to see the war in Ukraine end,” he said.

Orbán, Sisi Hold Talks in Cairo

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi discussed the war in Ukraine, illegal migration and Hungary-Egypt bilateral relations at a meeting in Cairo.

The sides said that cooperation between Hungary and Egypt went back 95 years and it had never been as good as in the past few years. Orbán said after the meeting that Hungary was facing several dangers, including the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Hungary has a vested interest in peace and we will make every effort to reduce the danger of the escalation of war,” he said. “We are ready to engage in disputes with the West because we want a diplomatic solution, ceasefire and peace talks,” he added.

Orbán welcomed the Egyptian president agreeing with the need to move the conflict towards peace instead of escalation. Orbán said the second source of danger was the forming of blocs in the world instead of connections being built, which he said caused serious losses to Hungary and central Europe.

He thanked Egypt for its actions concerning migration. “We do not want homeless migrants torn away from their place of birth to populate the world, but want people to succeed in their place of birth,” he said. “Europe owes thanks, respect and support to Egypt for its work,” he said.

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