The ambassador welcomed Members of Parliament, fellow diplomatic corps members, officials of government institutions, and representatives of cultural, scientific, educational and business circles to the gathering in the Marriott Hotel, Budapest on December 9.

This 2019 year has been a momentous, historical year for Kazakhstan, Ambassador Abdrashov said. This had included the voluntary resignation of First President Nursultan Nazarbayev who stood down after leading the country since independence. Since then, there had been the general elections on June 9 when the people elected a new President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who had set out his priorities for the direction of the nation.

At the same time, according to Kazakhstan's Constitution, today First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Leader of the Nation, is the Chairman of the Security Council, the leader of the ruling Nur-Otan party, the head of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, and he continues to play a significant role in the development of the state, the ambassador said.

Ambassador Abdrashov expressed his pleasure that Kazakhstan remains one of the most dynamically developing young states in the international arena. "Despite the global crisis, we have maintained steady economic growth (GDP growth in January-October 2019 amounted to 4.4%)," he said.

"In the World Bank's recently published Ease of Doing Business Index, Kazakhstan was ranked 25th out of the 190 economies studied. This was three places better than last year and by far the highest ranking in Central Asia.

"Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Hungary is developing successfully. We celebrate this year the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership with Hungary, which became the only country in the region of Central and Eastern Europe with whom Kazakhstan concluded such an agreement.

"Prime Minister Mr. Orban paid in April an official visit to Nur-Sultan and had fruitful negotiations with President Mr. Tokayev and Prime Minister Mr. Mamin, as well as warm discussion with First President Mr. Nazarbayev.

"Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of Finance Mr. Varga brought to Kazakhstan a big business delegation and took part in the third meeting of the Strategic Council.

"Inter-parliamentary relations are an important area of bilateral political dialogue. The Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament, Mr. Laszlo Köver, visited in September 2019 Nur-Sultan as a participant of the 4th Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Eurasian Countries."

Ambassador Abdrashov said Kazakhstan welcomed the opening on September 19 this year of the Representative Office of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States in Budapest. This office would contribute to building fruitful relations between the CCTS member states with Hungary and other European countries.

The ambassador said the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, the Strategic Council and the Business Council are successfully functioning, while the necessary contractual framework has been created in the economic field.

"Deep cultural and historical ties that unite Kazakh and Hungarian peoples play an important role in the development of cultural relations. We participate in annual meetings of the Kipchaks in Karcag and Mazharstan-Turan Kurultays in Bugac.

"I am confident that the further deepening and expanding of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Hungary across the entire spectrum of bilateral relations corresponds to the fundamental interests of our friendly countries and peoples.

"It is very important for me that now, thanks to the agreement of our governments, our countries are connected by a direct flight between Nur-Sultan and Budapest.

"It is gratifying to see that more than 500 Kazakh students are already studying under the scholarship program Stipendium Hungaricum in the universities of Hungary.

"For me it is a great honour to greet at the reception our distinguished guests TURKSOY Secretary General Mr. Dusen Kasseinov and Secretary General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States Mr. Baghdad Amreyev.

"I would also like to mention that thanks to Mr. Dusen Kasseinov, the Kazakh musicians of 'Akzharma' Folklore Ensemble and dancers of 'Zhorga' National Dance Ensemble perform during our reception at this stage showing you the spirit of Kazakh national culture."

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