Hungary, Oman coming together on aviation, sport, water management


Foreign Ministry Deputy State Secretary Péter Wintermantel concluded an official visit to Oman this week in a bid to exploit “many opportunities to deepen [the two countries’] relations” beyond oil-and-gas interests. On the table were possible cooperative efforts in water management, sport and civil aviation.

Wintermantel told media that “We feel we can be a useful and natural partner to Oman in the other part of the world. … We have very promising figures. If we look at our bilateral trade, although it is not large in numbers, it’s grown steadily.”

Beyond doing some foreign policy consultation with Omanese Foreign Minister for Diplomatic Affairs Undersecretary Ahmed bin Yousuf Al Harthy, Wintermantel met with ministers in energy, civil aviation, and investment/exports.

Wintermantel assessed current trade relations between Hungary and Oman as generally positive, saying “We have some very good Omani investments in Hungary, mainly in the real estate business. [In addition,] Oman Oil Company owns a large share in [MOL], which has some drilling blocks here. The two share very good cooperation and often exchange experts.”

With no mention of the alleged Oman-based investment in the embryonic Sólyom Hungarian Airways that fell through under previous management, Wintermantel touted possible agreement between the nations on a civil aviation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): “Though no concrete plans are yet in place, since we no longer have a national carrier, we are hopeful. We have the [budget airline] Wizz Air, that launched a new route from Hungary to Dubai. They were the first to use the new airport in Dubai. So we have a connection to the region. We just hope that an MoU will expand the outreach area we can cover. This can facilitate possible direct flights in the future.”

One agreement that has come to fruition as a result of the visit is a sports exchange. Oman will be sending a delegation to “take advantage of our expertise in sports management and sports facility building,” explained Wintermantal, and “we can provide coaches for Oman in canoeing and fencing. We have sports coaches from Hungary in Qatar, Kuwait and UAE in many different sports.”

Other areas in which Wintermatel sees future bilateral cooperation include water management, medical training, ICT, education and tourism.

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