Mr Orbán took the view that the “improved situation” in the Asian country is proof of the fact that “it is possible to enhance the welfare of a nation even if, seemingly, all natural forces and inherited poverty, too, are in the way of success”. Bangladesh’s economic growth is continuously above 6 per cent, poverty has been halved in the last 15 to 20 years, and life expectancy has increased by 10 years, Mr Orbán listed the facts in his press statement in the company of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, who came to attend the Budapest Water Summit.
The current meeting was “the first Hungarian-Bangladeshi summit in world history”, the Hungarian Prime Minister said regarding his meeting with Sheikh Hasina Wazed, who mentioned water management, agriculture and the digital economy as the possible areas of cooperation between the two countries. “Bangladesh is a country that is situated geographically far from us, but it is a valuable, uncharted territory for us”, he remarked.
He made specific mention of water management, indicating that Bangladesh is particularly exposed to climate change, floods are frequent, and everyday water supply and drainage pose a major challenge. Hungary is in the vanguard as regards its technological know-how in the areas of water, waste and sewage management, and the region of Bangladesh is not entirely unknown to Hungarian water companies, he said.
Mr Orbán further stressed that Bangladesh – the same as Hungary – rejects all forms of terrorism. He added that he shares his Bangladeshi counterpart’s view to the effect that terrorism cannot be tied to either any one religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group. Terrorism is unacceptable in all of its manifestations, and it is entirely irrelevant what grounds it designates as its ideological tenet, he stressed.
He also highlighted in the context of Bangladesh that the country takes part in a variety of UN missions around the world with 9 thousand soldiers.
In praise of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Mr Orbán said: Sheikh Hasina Wazed may set an example of courage for all of us as her personal life and career amply demonstrate that if someone wants to do something for their country and people in that part of the world, they must take a great many risks, and must endure a great many sacrifices and losses.
Sheikh Hasina Wazed highlighted: there are good opportunities to intensify trade and investment relations, and further her country is also in great need of expertise regarding water management, and it is therefore a favourable development that they laid down their willingness to cooperate in this field in a declaration of intent as well.
She believes it is important to review the available cooperation opportunities also in connection with the fight against acts of terrorism, climate change, migration, water management and sustainable development. Bangladesh takes action against extremism and terrorism, and takes part in the related international efforts as terrorism knows no state borders, she said. She added: Bangladesh wants peace, and not only in the country, but in the whole world.
The Bangladeshi Prime Minister congratulated Hungary on the organisation of the water summit as the event, she said, is an important global platform for seeking consensuses on issues related to water management.
She likewise congratulated Hungary on the economic and political results it has achieved in the last twenty-five years. She took the view that Hungary has successfully reformed its economy, and has become the trade and manufacturing centre of the Central-European region. Bangladesh regards the relations it fosters with Hungary as important in light of the fact that Hungary was among the first to recognise the independence of Bangladesh in the seventies.
Before the statements of the two Prime Ministers, members of the Hungarian and Bangladeshi delegations signed a declaration of intent regarding cooperation in the fields of water management and agriculture, and consultation between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.
A Hungarian-Bangladeshi business forum will be held this afternoon in Budapest which will be attended by the two Prime Ministers.