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Hungary, Romania agree to press forward on energy, transport projects

Agreements were reached on pushing forward with energy and transport projects at a meeting of the Hungarian-Romanian joint economic committee in Bucharest on Friday, the committeeʼs Hungarian co-chair, state secretary for economic diplomacy Levente Magyar told Hungarian news agency MTI.

Romaniaʼs new technocrat government relates to the joint projects in a far more open and pragmatic manner than the countryʼs previous government, Magyar said.

The sides agreed to draw up plans within three months to open ten new EU-financed roads that cross the border between the two countries but may still not be used because of a delay in Romaniaʼs accession to the passport-free Schengen zone, he said.

They also agreed to complete work by 2018 allowing the connection of a second highway between Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, and Oradea, in western Romania, he added.

Waiting times at the Nagylak border crossing, in southeastern Hungary, will be reduced, Magyar said.

Romania has promised to take steps soon to establish reverse flow between the two countriesʼ gas networks, he added.

There are more than 12,000 Hungarian-owned companies in Romania.

Oil and gas company MOL has 200 petrol stations in the country and is involved in exploration there as well. OTP Bank has 120 branches in Romania and drugmaker Richter employs 1,500 people in the country.