Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi on Monday sought more investment from Hungary and said green hydrogen was a potential area of collaboration between the two countries.
Addressing the 'India-Hungary Business Forum', organized by FICCI jointly with the Embassy of Hungary here, Meenakashi Lekhi said that investments and businesses come with no hidden agenda in India and referred to an increase in trade between Hungary and India despite conditions created by COVID-19.
Noting that India is seen as a production hub and just a market, she expressed hope of greater trade between the two countries in the coming days.
"When India benefits everybody else also benefits. And we hope for greater business success in coming days for everyone," she said.
She said apart from nuclear energy and India's push for solar energy, the country is also paying attention to green hydrogen. She invited Hungary to collaborate in this sector. "This is another area where cooperation can come and, maybe simultaneously, we can manage the wastes and solid waste management can be part of this very functionality," she said.
"We already have seen a rise of business between Hungary and India to the extent of 18 per cent. No matter how difficult the circumstances are but to establish a relationship of trust, that trust will overtake everything else. And that's the situation between Hungary and India," she added.
The minister noted that India has invested more in Hungary compared to Hungary's investment in India. "I will seek more investments from Hungary. Because of a large consumer base, the cost and availability of materials, the production cost is likely to go down," she said and laid thrust on "producing in India and making it in India for the world".
Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary highlighted four key areas for stronger India-Hungary relations including people-to-people ties.
He said Hungary is building a new nuclear power plant which will become commercial by 2030 and the country was also making significant solar investments. "By 2030, generation of energy will be free of carbon emission to the extent of 90 per cent. But we want stronger cooperation in solar energy investment, and we have also joined the International Solar Alliance. With that we hope to accelerate our investments into solar energy," he added.
Szijjarto said that Budapest has increased its exports to the countries in the east by 45 per cent.
"We have increased our exports towards the east by 45 per cent and the volume of trade between Hungary and the eastern part of the world has increased by 40 per cent. Last year, 60 per cent of all foreign investments into Hungary have come from the East," he said.
"Last year the Indian companies were the 11th largest investing community in Hungary and last year we hit a record when it comes to the volume of trade, which has approached USD 1 billion for the first time," he added.
Referring to the recent developments in Ukraine, Peter Szijjarto said Hungary helped 6,218 Indian citizens to leave Kyiv through Budapest safely by 31 aircraft.
He said 1,250 Indian students, whose studies have been interrupted due to war in Ukraine, have applied for scholarships in Hungary.
Hungary today joined the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA). (ANI)