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Egypt expands order of Hungarian rolling stock

Egypt is ordering another 50 railway carriages from Hungary on top of the 1,300 ordered so far, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Thursday.

Hungary has so far delivered 724 railway carriages to Egypt as part of “the largest ever order for Hungarian vehicles”, Szijjarto said after the fourth meeting of the Hungarian-Egyptian economic mixed committee in Budapest, according to a ministry statement. A total of 626 more are being assembled in Dunakeszi, north of Budapest, he added.

This order has now been expanded by another 50 railway carriages, bringing its value to around 1.1 billion euros from the previous 1 billion euros, Szijjarto said.

Reliable international partnerships have become even more important in light of the war in Ukraine, Szijjarto said, adding that relations between Hungary and Egypt were characterised by mutual respect, which had contributed to significant achievements.

Bilateral trade in agriculture reached a record 30 million dollars last year, up 80 percent from the year before, Szijjarto said.

At a joint press conference with Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s minister for international cooperation, Szijjarto highlighted energy as the most important area of bilateral cooperation. He said both countries were focused on nuclear energy when it came to energy security and the green transition.

Hungary and Egypt are building new nuclear plant reactors with the same contractor and technology, Szijjarto said, adding that this presented serious opportunities in bilateral technical, scientific and education cooperation.

“We believe that nuclear energy is the energy of the future because it’s cheap, safe and a sustainable way of producing electricity,” the minister said, adding that Hungary and Egypt intended to establish broad nuclear cooperation.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said that although Russia’s Gazprom was a reliable supplier of natural gas, Hungary needed to find new energy sources in the interest of diversifying its energy supply.

He said buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Egypt was an option, adding that plans were in place to build a pipeline to southern Europe with the support of the European Union.

Concerning the war in Ukraine, Szijjarto said peace was needed for the global economy to return to its long-term growth path.

Given that Hungary and Egypt are both deeply integrated into the global economy, they have an interest in bringing about peace as soon as possible, he added.

Szijjarto said Egypt was also a strategic security partner to Hungary and Europe. Egypt is an important and stable bastion of “Europe’s north African line of defence” by curbing illegal migration, he said.

The minister said that unlike Brussels, Cairo understood that illegal migration must be stopped rather than managed. “This is the only way to guarantee the security of the European continent,” he added.

The sides signed memoranda of understanding on an exchange of experience regarding international development and on cooperation in social affairs.

At at a Hungary-Egypt business forum, Szijjarto noted that Prime Minister Viktor Orban will pay a visit to Cairo at the end of February.

Regarding economic cooperation, the minister said Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 100 million euro credit line to support ties between Hungarian and Egyptian businesses.

He added that more than 120,000 Hungarian tourists visited Egypt last year, and the government has raised the number of scholarships offered to Egyptian students at Hungarian universities to 200 per year.

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