Sri Lanka, a growth prone nation in Asia: Hungarian FM
A significant strengthening of economic relations between Sri Lanka
and Hungary can be confidently anticipated as Sri Lanka enters a new
phase in its development, Hungarian Foreign Minister Dr Janos Martonyi
said at bilateral discussions with External Affairs Minister Prof G L
Peiris at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Budapest on Monday.
External Affairs Minister Prof G L
Peiris with Hungarian Foreign Minister Dr Janos Martonyi
He described the Memorandum of Understanding on political
consultations and co-operation signed between the two ministers during
the official visit of Minister Peiris to Hungary as an excellent
launching pad for this enhanced relationship. The two ministers
addressed the media after signing the agreement.
Dr Martonyi said it is a pivot of his country’s foreign policy to
reach out to countries in the Asian region which are considered “growth
He said Sri Lanka, with growth of its economy at eight percent,
certainly warrants inclusion in that category. The ministers noted that
an agreement is being prepared on air services to add a further stimulus
to tourism in a situation where tourist arrivals from Hungary to Sri
Lanka are increasing by more than 40 percent. His Hungarian counterpart
agreed, at the request of Prof Peiris, to give priority to accelerating
implementation of a project involving assistance from Hungary for the
rehabilitation of Kalatuwawa and Labugama Water Treatment Plants.
The bilateral discussions also centred on investment in
pharmaceuticals and the tourism industry and joint collaboration to
establish Ayurvedic treatment centres in Hungary.
The other areas which the ministers identified for joint investment
were dairy farming, agricultural productivity, fisheries and water
The Hungarian side agreed that there is potential for developing and
expanding value added products from Sri Lanka such as natural rubber,
fibre and graphite for penetrating the Central European Market.
The Hungarian minister was receptive to the suggestion by Prof Peiris
to provide more scholarship opportunities for Sri Lankan students for
training in medicine, technology and engineering. Professor Peiris
delivered a lecture on ‘Sri Lanka and the International Community:
Current Perspectives’ at the Hungarian Institute of International
Affairs. Other features of his visit to Hungary included an interactive
session with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce, at which Minister Peiris
explained investment and trade opportunities in Sri Lanka, a meeting
with the Speaker of Parliament of Hungary, and interviews with Hungarian
television and radio.