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Hungary and South Africa Water cooperation

24 May 2017

Mr Szilverszter Bus, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary was in South Africa. A cooperation agreement on water was signed in Pretoria with Ms. Nomvula Mokonyama, Minister for Water and Sanitation for South Africa.

The respective governments acknowledge water as a vital natural resource and also as an adaptable energy source. Innovation in water management, a framework for exchange, finance amongst others was included for further detailed discussions.

Photo:  Mr. Szilverszter Bus, Deputy State Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and Mr. Andras Kiraly, Ambassador of Hungary in South Africa

Hungary is a country sitting on one of the largest fresh water reserves in Europe. They have several techniques, know-how and technologies to manage water, efficiently recycle waste water and to build systems that can handle access water during heavy rain seasons and store and dispatch it during drought. It is with these technologies and know-how in mind that the South African Department of Water and Sanitation and the relevant Hungarian Ministry have drafted an interministerial agreement to cooperate in the field of water management.

At the press briefing held at the Hungarian Embassy in Pretoria Deputy Minister Bus (Bush as it is pronounced) spoke of Hungary’s new focus on the emerging economies of the South, a responsibility in his portfolio. Having served as Ambassador in South East Asia he said Hungary is reaching out to non-traditional partners and consumers alike was not a shift away from Europe (90% of Hungary’s trade is with the EU) but a diversification of markets.

Hungary has been achieving constant economic growth figures, this in comparison to the figures of the economies of the south. South Africa as an economy of scale could be an ideal link in the diversification chain of Hungary’s global outlook.

100 South African students will be selected for a full scholarship to study, in English, at various Hungarian tertiary institutions on a range of subjects and fields. This gesture of goodwill by Hungary will create people to people exchanges and lead to a better understanding among South Africans and Hungarians.

According to Deputy Minister Bus there is a growing interest from Hungarian business people in South Africa. It was his first visit to South Africa and expressed his confidence in the country and will give a good report back of his visit. He travels to Botswana and Cape Town as part of his mission.

South Africa’s deep historic connection with Europe and its current relationship with its largest trading partner with a region (EU) makes cooperation between the two countries easier.

As Hungary opens up to the South they are establishing over 20 new missions in different regions of the South. The Visegrad cooperation among Hungary, Poland, The Czech Republic and Slovakia known as the V4 is influential within the EU consisting of the fastest growing economies in the EU. Hungary’s presidency begins in October 2017.

K Bhana



August 2018







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