10,000+ Filipinos Work in Hungary, 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties Celebrated

  • 14 Jun 2024 9:52 AM
10,000+ Filipinos Work in Hungary, 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties Celebrated
Illegal migrants should not be mixed up with people that go to another country “under organised circumstances” to work, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Manila.

Péter Szijjártó said that illegal border crossing “is not a human right but a crime”. According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Szijjártó met Enrique Manalo, his Filipino counterpart, for talks and said both countries saw eye to eye that “any given country should have the right to decide to whom it wants to grant entry and whom it wants to live together with”.

Hungary holds the over 10,000 Filipinos working in Hungary in great esteem, Szijjártó said.

The foreign minister noted that the Philippines and Hungary were celebrating the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties. He said the two countries were similarly affected by the recent global security and economic crises, and were interested in promoting peace and a balanced economic development in the world.

Szijjártó said that conflicts should be resolved “through dialogue and diplomacy rather than constantly passing judgements and criticism.” According to Szijjártó, Europe is “in very bad shape” with a war going on for the past two and a half years on the continent and with “political and ideological endeavours hindering East-West cooperation”.

“The upcoming Hungarian EU presidency will work to improve the situation, but it requires peace on the continent,” he said.

Cooperation between Hungary and the Philippines is “the best example of successful East-West relations”, he said, adding that the turnover of bilateral trade had exceeded 300 million dollars as a result of Hungary’s significantly increasing its agricultural exports to the Philippines.

He added that Hungarian companies were completing major water management projects in the Philippines, while preparations were being made for starting nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

Szijjártó: EU Should Not 'Mix Up' Business & Politics

The Hungarian government is against the European Union’s “mixing up economic and political affairs” in free trade talks, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Manila.

The foreign ministry quoted Szijjártó as saying after talks with Enrique Manalo, his Filipino counterpart, that the EU had an interest in building closer ties with South-East Asia, one of the fastest developing regions of the world, “rather than introduce restrictions such as duties”.

The European Commission’s recent introduction of new duties impacting key industries will cause “huge damage” to the European economy, Szijjártó said, adding that the move would “increase the risk of higher unemployment”.

The introduction of further duties and free trade talks breaking down would “cut Europe from global cooperation” and “eventually lead to economic suicide” for Europe, he said.

The upcoming Hungarian EU presidency will ensure that “free trade talks should indeed focus on commerce rather than political issues,” Szijjártó said, adding that “should the EU insist on its earlier viewpoint we will be doing business with ourselves”.

The Hungarian government supports free trade, which offers many benefits especially to countries with an open economy such as Hungary, he said.

The Hungarian presidency will focus on accelerating free trade talks between the EU and Asia, with special regard to the south-eastern region, the foreign minister added.


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