Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi will be in the Philippines from December 5 to 7 to discuss the bilateral relations between the two countries, and the role that Budapest will play in the recovery and rehabilitation program for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).
Hungary was one of the very first countries to offer humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the typhoon. It immediately sent a medical mission to aid the victims of the super typhoon.
On December 7, the last day of Martonyi’s official visit to the Philippines, a mobile water purification plant will arrive in the country.
The plant can produce 100,000 liters of water daily.
But aside from cooperating with the Philippine government in the rehabilitation program in eastern Visayas, a region vastly damaged by the typhoon, the Hungarian foreign minister will also discuss about partnerships in education and establishment of a Hungarian mission in Manila.
Issues about trade, investment and cultural cooperation will also be discussed with Vice President Jejomar Binay and Commissioner Patricia Licuanan.
Martonyi will also be meeting with Foreign Affairs officials in a luncheon that will be hosted by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Evan Garcia. They will be discussing the 40th anniversary of Philippines-Hungary relations, the reopening of the Hungarian Embassy in Manila and regional and international issues that are of common interests to the Philippines and Hungary.
Philippines-Hungary relations have enjoyed active exchange of trade while investments remained very minimal, the Foreign Affairs department said.
Total trade between the two countries for 2012 is at $156.5 million.
Products traded are food, beverage, components, devices (semi-conductors), electronic data processing, pharmaceuticals, metal automotive parts, petrochemicals, intermediate and fabricated products.
There were less than a thousand Hungarian tourists who visited the Philippines last year.
The department said “there exists great potential in increasing tourism exchanges between the two countries.”
An estimated 200 Filipinos live in Hungary.
BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON