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Press statement by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after his meeting with Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Hungary has an especially important guest today: we have the honour of welcoming the Vice-President of India. Vice-President Ansari is an important guest not only because of his position, but also because he is linked to our freedom fight through his mentor, Mohammad Ataur Rahman, who in 1956 was India’s chargé d’affaires in Budapest. In ’56 Mr. Rahman was one of the most committed supporters of the Freedom Fight; we shall never forget his efforts and those of President Nehru, who bravely intervened at the United Nations in the interest of Hungarian freedom. Neither shall we forget the friendship and the gesture that India and Mr. Rahman manifested, along with the friendship of Vice-President Ansari, who now represents this pro-Hungary policy here among us. Furthermore – and Hungarians are less aware of this – in his person we are also welcoming the son of a great family of freedom fighters: in international politics members of the Ansari family are known as people who have always done their utmost for India’s independence and sovereignty. And we, for our part, have always greatly appreciated families devoted to freedom fighting.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to briefly outline the results of our meetings. First of all, cooperation between the two nations rests on the strong foundation of both countries being democracies. India is the world’s largest democracy; there is no other such populous country in the world which is organised democratically, and where living conditions are created through political democracy. This earns it our highest respect. And, as India is also the land of wisdom, our faith in democracy is boosted by our Hungarian vision of one of the world’s oldest and wisest peoples building its future on the foundations of democracy. So we greatly appreciate being able to welcome here the Vice-President of a democratic State. There is a term in Indian political philosophy which will be valuable for Hungary in the future, and Vice-President Ansari frequently used this term during our meeting: this term is “peaceful development”. There are some who close their eyes, while others keep them open. The latter can clearly see that the world is undergoing a major transformation; this major transformation simultaneously presents an enormous opportunity, as well as a threat. I am convinced that if Indian philosophy’s concept of “peaceful development” is asserted, the changes now taking place in the world geopolitical and economic arena will be accomplished peacefully, and will consequently serve the whole of humanity. We wish the Vice-President and India success in the assertion of their political philosophy of peaceful development in world politics.

Logically following on from this, Hungary supports the efforts of India to obtain the representation that it deserves in the new institutional framework currently unfolding in the world. Although India is large and we are small, the fact that Hungary supports India in international politics is of some significance. I shook hands with the Vice-President on the promise that India can rely on Hungary’s support in its aspirations in the international institutions.

With Vice-President Ansari we have also touched upon bilateral relations. We were pleased to establish that India is ready to use Hungarian innovations, the products of Hungarian innovation and the results of Hungarian research – and to use them to our mutual benefit. We have therefore agreed to set up a technological task force, the mission of which will be to combine Hungarian and Indian capabilities in the field of innovation. We would like to ask the members of this task force to do their job swiftly and effectively. We also spoke about the possibility of cooperation in the arms industry. This is a highly sensitive area. I would again like to underline that, in my view, there is a very good chance of creating arms industry cooperation between India and Hungary, as the Hungarian government has recently adopted its industry strategy, in which the reconstruction of the arms industry is a priority area, and in this we rely upon cooperation with India. I mentioned that further strengthening of relations between our countries will be important for Hungarian agriculture. We can learn from each other, and we have products that we can exchange under mutually advantageous conditions. And we believe that cooperation between our film industries is likewise important: India has far surpassed all other film industry centres in the world in terms of weight and size, while Hungary has recently established a film industry which has attracted interest from all over the world. We would therefore be pleased to welcome some of India’s productions here in Hungary. We have therefore decided that a film industry delegation will pay an immediate visit to India, in order to explore and make use of these opportunities.

Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, few Hungarians know that in 2014 and 2015 India was the largest greenfield industrial investor in Hungary. So while we can now welcome here a representative of a culture from a distant country that we know well from our history books, India is no longer as far from Hungary as we might think: I repeat that in the last two years India has been the largest greenfield investor in Hungary. Furthermore, they are planning further investments which demonstrate that in the future the Indian and Hungarian economies will be closely linked. We encourage investors from India to seek out investment opportunities in Hungary. We have run out of workforce: in Hungary today the task is no longer to give people jobs, as we have reduced unemployment to below five per cent, and soon we will reach a state of full employment. The aim of Hungarian industrial policy is to retain jobs, and to continuously renew the technological standard of industry operating in Hungary. To achieve this, we shall need investment from India, which in technological terms – as well as in other sectors – is one of the world’s best performing countries. And while our cooperation is already remarkable, we believe that our prospects are enormous.

Finally, I would like to thank the Honourable Vice-President one more time for the friendship and openness which he has shown us during his visit here. I sincerely hope that in the years ahead we shall not disappoint in relation to what we have just discussed, and that in a few years’ time we will be able to look upon Vice-President Ansari’s visit to Budapest as a meeting of historic significance – one which served to intensify Indian-Hungarian friendship and cooperation. Our guest will also visit Balatonfüred today, where he will meet the President of Hungary; and tomorrow he will also be received by the Speaker of the Hungarian parliament. This amply demonstrates how important Vice-President Ansari’s visit is for us. Thank you for the opportunity of holding talks with you.

Vice-President Ansari, welcome to Hungary!