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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 17.10.2013

Dr. Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today (October 17, 2013) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Welcoming Dr. Orban, the President said India attaches great importance to its relations with Hungary and our cultural relations far predate diplomatic relations. He pointed out that Sanskrit was formally included as a regular subject of study in ELTE University in 1873. He also thanked the Hungarian Government for preserving the rooms where Rabindra Nath Tagore stayed while undergoing medical treatment and for establishing a beautiful Tagore Esplanade in the town of Balatonfured.

The President said regular and frequent exchanges of bilateral visits in the last few years have enabled two countries to enhance our bilateral co-operation. It is satisfying to know that Indian investments in Hungary are in the range of US$ 1.5 billion employing over 8000 Hungarians and are spread over a number of sectors. Bilateral trade has increased from US $ 398 million in 2007 to an impressive US $ 840 million in 2011. However this is far below our true potential. There is considerable scope for expansion to new areas such as bio-tech, clean energy, agriculture and water resource management.

The President expressed his happiness over the large business delegation visiting India with the Hungarian Prime Minister and said he has no doubt that their interactions with Indian counterparts will enable both sides explore new avenues to further strengthen economic relations.

Responding to the President, the Hungarian Prime Minister said there has always been great appreciation in Hungary of India which represents a high culture of civilization. He said there exists good prospects for greater cooperation, not just with Hungary but the whole of Central Europe which is a big area which can help India play a bigger role in Europe. He added that India’s quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council was more than legitimate and India’s membership would be good for global peace and cooperation.

This release issued at 1410 hrs