"Our countries do not have any political or other disagreements, which creates favourable conditions for further development of bilateral cooperation," Ambassador Abdrashov said. "Today Hungary is a strategic partner of Kazakhstan in Central and Eastern Europe. A strong legal framework, successful activities of the Strategic Council, Intergovernmental Committees on trade, economic and legal cooperation, as well as inter-parliamentary friendship groups contribute to the deepening of interaction between our countries. The positions of the parties on the most important issues of international policy are close."

The ambassador said Kazakhstan is ready to act as a key ally of Budapest in promoting Hungarian initiatives in the Central Asian region and the Eurasia Economic Union. He says a powerful impetus to the expansion of the bilateral dialogue was given by the visits to Hungary of First President of Kazakhstan-Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994 and 2007, as well as the visits to Kazakhstan of Presidents of Hungary Árpád Göncz in 1997 and Pál Schmitt in 2010.

"A number of official visits have taken place in recent years at the level of heads of governments and foreign ministries," Ambassador Abdrashov said. "Mr. Viktor Orbán also paid an official visit to Kazakhstan in April 2019, where he met President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K. Tokayev, Prime Minister A. Mamin and Elbasy N. Nazarbayev.

"Hungary is an important trade and economic partner of Kazakhstan. The Kazakh-Hungarian agricultural direct investment fund is successfully operating.

"Currently, a project for the construction of a fifth-generation greenhouse complex (Pickle project) has been implemented in the Aktobe region, and a project for growing and processing apples (Eden project) 'Gardens of the East' for the amount of USD10 million is being implemented in the Zhambyl region, which uses Hungarian technology. The fund has several other potential projects under consideration."

A direct flight was launched in June 2017 between Budapest and Nur-Sultan, aimed not only at the development of tourism but also at the development of business. "This flight is very popular not only among Kazakhs and Hungarians but also among our neighbours from Uzbekistan and Russia," the ambassador said.

"Cooperation between Eximbank of Hungary and Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) is successfully developing. The representative of Eximbank of Hungary in the city of Nur-Sultan, whose office is located on the site of the AIFC, is Martin Kovac.

"The most promising area of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Hungary should become agriculture. Hungary has technologies for processing agricultural products and qualified personnel, and operates according to European standards. Kazakhstan has a huge potential for producing environmentally friendly food products (the square of farmlands is more than 210 million hectares).

"In this regard, there are wide opportunities for creating and transferring technologies, attracting qualified personnel. The goal is to create competitive Kazakh products and bring them to the markets of the Eurasian economic Union, China and Central Asian countries."

Ambassador Abdrashov said many opportunities for cooperation are associated with new technologies and innovations, and Hungary has a high potential in applied research. This was why many multinational corporations (Microsoft, Audi, Bosch and others) had placed their research units in Hungary.

"There are close historical ties between the two countries, since the descendants of Kipchak tribes who migrated here from the Kazakh steppes in the first half of the 13th century live in the territory of modern Central-Eastern Hungary. A great contribution to the development of cultural relations between the two countries was made at the meeting of the First President of Kazakhstan-Leader of the Nation Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev in Budapest in 2007 with representatives of the 'Union of Kipchaks of Hungary', who elected him as their honorary Leader.

"Artists, scientists and athletes of the two countries take today an active part in various cultural and sport events held in Kazakhstan and Hungary. Famous Kazakh creative teams (Astana Opera, Astana Balet, etc.) performed in recent years in the best concert halls in Hungary."

Kazakhstan is celebrating this year the 175th anniversary of the great Kazakh poet and thinker Abai Kunanbaiuly, whose bust is located in the City Park of Budapest on Astana street. A number of events dedicated to the poet's anniversary will be held throughout the year including in Hungary. The first one – the book-illustrative exhibition and photo exhibition "The world of Abai" – was organised at the end of January 2020. The event was held in the building of the representative Office of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States, in Budapest, and was attended by representatives of the creative intelligentsia and scientific circles of Hungary and Kazakhstan, of the Kazakh diaspora, as well as of Hungarian students studying Kazakh culture and traditions.

"Education is an important element of bilateral cooperation," Ambassador Abdrashov said. "Today, more than 600 Kazakh students study in Hungary, thanks to the annual allocation of 250 educational grants by Hungary for Kazakhstan citizens under the program Stipendium Hungaricum. I am sure that in the future these young people will become an intellectual bridge connecting our countries.

"In general, the prospects for the development of bilateral relations in all areas are getting wider every year. It is a great honour for me to represent Kazakhstan in a country with which we have truly friendly and trusting relations, supported by historical and cultural ties. I will make every effort to maintain the achieved level of bilateral cooperation and further increase it in the future in the interests of both countries."


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