Varga meets Kazakh counterpart in Astana before expo opening


Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga met with his Kazakh counterpart Timur Suleimenov in Astana Friday. The two men prepared for the next meeting of the two countriesʼ intergovernmental joint committee in Budapest next year, Varga told Hungarian reporters, according to state news wire MTI.   

Varga said that the aim is to continue and foster the trade developments achieved last year. Bilateral trade between the two countries grew by 16% in 2016, he noted.

According to Hungarian government website, Hungarian-Kazakh relations have gained strategic importance over the past few years, their significance demonstrated by the signing of a strategic partnership agreement improving bilateral relations – and driven by the Hungarian-Kazakh Strategic Council – and the recently relaunched direct flight connecting Budapest and Astana.

Hungary and Kazakhstan have strong ties in the pharmaceutical, energy, farm and food industries, Varga said. The opening of the Expo 2017 world exposition in Astana on Saturday - which runs until September 10 - also paves the way for cooperation in the area of electromobility, he added. 

Varga also met with Kairat Kelimbetov, governor of the Astana International Finance Center (AIFC), a future financial hub for the region which will be based on the expo grounds. He said he discussed with Kelimbetov ways the Hungarian government can support the involvement of Hungarian companies and banks with the AIFC. Due to launch after the expo winds up, the AIFC will be based on the principles of English law, a preferential tax regime and an independent financial court.


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