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Hungary, Romania meet on economy

Int’l Relations

A plenary meeting of the Hungarian-Romanian Joint Economic Committee took place in Budapest on Tuesday, according to Magyar Nemzet online (www.mno.hu). The participants took decisions that will boost bilateral trade between the two countries, said Hungarian co-chair Péter Szijjártó. His Romanian counterpart, Constantin Nita, said the aim was to raise bilateral trade to a balanced €10 bln a year in the coming period. Last year, bilateral trade between Hungary and Romania came to €6.7 bln, but turnover was up 7% in January-April, Szijjártó said.

Szijjártó reportedly added that the export-import banks of both countries had agreed to open a credit line of tens of millions of euros to support partnerships between Hungarian and Romanian SMEs. The sides also decided to build 12 new border crossings during the 2014-2020 European Union funding period, he said. The two countries development ministers will sign the agreement on the crossings in Bucharest at the end of July, he added.

Szijjártó said Hungary's M43 motorway would be connected with the A1 in Romania this year, and the M4 would connect with the A3 by 2017, according to Magyar Nemzet online. The state secretary reportedly said that questions of energy security were high on the agenda at the meeting. Romania is planning to call a tender this year to make an interconnector with Hungary's gas network reversible, and the sides have agreed to connect their electricity networks, too. The sides reached an agreement on the acceleration of procedures allowing Hungarian oil and gas company MOL to start exploration in recently acquired licences in Romania.

Nita called for closer cooperation to implement the Danube Strategy and to make better use of the port of Constanta, as well as in the areas of rail transport, farming and tourism, according to Magyar Nemzet online. He reportedly added that a Romanian-Hungarian chamber of commerce should be established in Budapest.

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