Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Government to enhance cooperation between EU, Central America

During Hungary's European Union presidency this year, the government plans to work much on enhancing cooperation between the community and the countries of Central America, the foreign minister said in Panama City on Tuesday local time.
17. April 2024 18:24

Szijjarto noted at a joint press conference with Panamanian counterpart Janaina Tewaney Mencomo that the ratification of a partnership agreement between the EU and six Central American countries will be soon completed and its implementation will kick off during Hungary’s six-month presidency starting in July.

According to a ministry statement, he said this was greatly needed in the current era, when the world was moving towards the emergence of blocs, “which is bad news for both Hungary and Panama, both being on the side of connectivity”. He praised the role of the Panama Canal in facilitating unhindered East-West trade.

“When the use of such important arteries of world trade is rendered impossible as a due to a terror threat or armed conflict, it can essentially knock out the entirety of world trade with a single blow…” he said.

“So Panama and Hungary jointly stand up for peace and support free and fair global trading,” he added.

“We have decided to form an alliance … to act against the emergence of blocs in the world and to broaden connectivity,” he said.

Szijjarto also mentioned illegal migration, stating that Hungary saw it as a danger and not as an opportunity, especially in terms of transit and target countries.

“Illegal migration brings with itself the threat of terror, organised crime and the increase in drug use, so we must act against illegal migration,” he said.

“We are taking joint action with Panama to stop illegal migration, to ensure that no country in the world is affected by the security risks posed by illegal migration,” he added.

The minister also talked about the importance of mutual respect in bilateral cooperation, stating that a scholarship scheme enabling ten students from Panama to study at Hungarian universities each year provided a good basis for this.

“Additionally, relations in agriculture and higher education guarantee the future of cooperation, opening up opportunities in pharmaceuticals production cooperation and the use of Hungarian water and waste management technologies here in Panama,” he said.

Szijjarto also noted the government supports the investments of several Hungarian companies there, and if the Panamanian side offered the benefits of a special economic zone, then bilateral cooperation could become successful in pharmaceuticals, an area where a sectoral player has already set foot in Brazil.

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