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Hungarian-Serbian mixed economic committee holds 10th meeting

The Hungarian-Serbian mixed economic committee held its 10th meeting in Budapest on Wednesday, with topics such as trade, investment, and business cooperation on the agenda, state news wire MTI reports.

Image: Aritra Deb/Shutterstock.com

Speaking after the meeting, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said Serbia is Hungaryʼs top partner in the Western Balkans and bilateral trade reached EUR 2.5 billion last year.

Goran Knezevic, Serbiaʼs Minister of Economy said Hungaryʼs is Serbiaʼs sixth most important trading partner and its 13th biggest investor.

After the press conference, Szijjártó presented Knezevic with the Hungarian Order of Merit, Middle Cross.

Speaking of specific projects, Szijjártó noted Hungarian oil and gas company MOLʼs over EUR 110 million investment in Serbia, and OTP Bankʼs acquisition of a Vojvodina bank and the Serbian subsidiary of Société Générale.

The government has provided grants of HUF 46 bln to support Hungarian farmers and entrepreneurs in Serbiaʼs northernmost Vojvodina province, resulting in investments worth HUF 86 bln, the minister said.

Hungaryʼs Eximbank has opened a EUR 110 mln credit line to finance bilateral business cooperation, EUR 50 mln of which has already been laid aside for the upgrade of the Szeged-Subotica railway line, he said. The related agreement is expected to be signed before the end of this year, Szijjártó added.

Further, the government has earmarked a HUF 10 bln grant to support Hungarian investments in southern Serbia, the foreign minister said.

In response to a question, Szijjártó confirmed Hungaryʼs firm support for Serbiaʼs EU integration.