Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh (Photo:Internet)
Jakarta (VNA) - Hungary on February 5 expressed its strong interest to forge closer ties with the Southeast Asian region and said it recognised the immense potential of the ASEAN Community.

The remarks were made by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who paid an official visit to the ASEAN Secretariat, during a meeting with the Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh.

Orbán said Hungary would like to deepen cooperation with ASEAN in culture and education, adding that Hungary would offer scholarship programmes for students from ASEAN member states to study in Hungary.

Currently ASEAN and Hungary are working on signing an agreement on education that would provide scholarships to students from ASEAN member states.

He added that the sides should work together to promote people-to-people exchanges to bolster mutual understanding of culture and diversity.

Noting the economic potential of ASEAN, Orban said that Hungary supports stronger trade and investment ties under the ASEAN-EU framework of cooperation.

For his part, Secretary-General Minh said that the realisation of the ASEAN Community is significant, as it signals to the rest of the world how much ASEAN member states have achieved in coming together as one community.
He said it is a historic milestone for the region and a culmination of ASEAN’s resilience and dynamism throughout a journey that spans nearly half a century.

According to the ASEAN Secretary-General, ASEAN’s strong economic growth would provide excellent opportunities for the expansion of trade and investment with Hungary and the EU.

He said the region is the seventh largest economy in the world and is on track to become the fourth largest economy by 2050. ASEAN had a combined GDP of 2.6 trillion USD in 2014.

Established in 1967, ASEAN comprises 10 nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA