Let me begin by expressing my thanks to the Prime Minister for enabling us to be here. Thank you for the invitation.
We have come to Vietnam for two reasons. Firstly, to express Hungary’s respect for Vietnam and to express our acknowledgement of its fantastic achievements in economic development. And our second reason was to open a new chapter in relations between our two countries. Hungary is a medium-sized country – much smaller than Vietnam – and the geographic distance separating our countries is huge. We have therefore decided that in future we will concentrate on the relations we have developed in the region; and today the Prime Minister and I discussed the fact that we would like to develop a special relationship between Hungary and Vietnam.
There are four reasons we have chosen Vietnam as our key strategic partner in the region. First of all, as the Prime Minister also mentioned, we have a record of good diplomatic cooperation stretching back sixty-seven years. Here in Vietnam there are three thousand honoured citizens who completed their university education in Hungary. There is also a community of several thousand decent, hard-working Vietnamese families living in Hungary, whom we hold in high esteem. And, finally, our strategic analysts believe that over the next thirty years Vietnam will be one of the world’s most rapidly developing countries. These are the reasons why we would like to develop a special and close relationship with Vietnam. I would like to express my thanks for the fact that Vietnam is once again prepared to send two hundred students to Hungary. This is another factor which assures the future of relations between our two countries: because, at the rate of two hundred students per year, in a few years’ time the number of people involved will be significant.
There are four areas in which Hungary could provide important assistance to Vietnam: the healthcare industry; water management and the water industry; information technology; and agriculture – with particular emphasis on food safety. I am glad that we have come to an agreement on the fact that here in Vietnam we Hungarians will be constructing a superb hospital, which will benefit and serve the interests of many Vietnamese families. In addition, we look forward to further cooperation, and would be honoured to welcome the Prime Minister on an official visit to our country. It is my firm belief that the ten agreements which have been signed today were concluded by two countries which are confident and have a bright future ahead of them. We are grateful to the Prime Minister for making this possible.