UNIDO DG visit to Budapest

Publicated on: September 28, 2015

UNIDO DG Li Yong on a two day visit to Budapest on September 9-10 met with Hungarian officials and ministers, including Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Mihály Varga, Minister of National Economy.

VIENNA/BUDAPEST, 10 September (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) – Hungary is an important partner of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and an emerging donor country for technical cooperation activities, according to the Director General of UNIDO, who is on a two-day official visit to the country.

During meetings with government officials, including Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Director General LI Yong said: “Hungary is a strong supporter of UNIDO activities and its mandate. Hungary’s support for UNIDO has been manifested by years of joint cooperation and commitments, especially to UNIDO’s mission of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development and its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Minister Szijjártó said his country was committed to discussing ways of further expanding the partnership with UNIDO and hosting a UNIDO office in Budapest.

They also discussed ways of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 9 which focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.

A joint project funded by the Government of Hungary on a regional knowledge-sourcing platform on social inclusion of disadvantaged communities in Europe and Central Asia was also discussed.

Director General Li discussed with György Matolcsy, the President of the Hungarian National Bank, the possible involvement of the bank and the country’s financial institutions in UNIDO technical cooperation activities, and met with László Parragh, the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and István Mikola, the Minister of State for Security Policy and International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Speaking at the Monetary Council Club at the Hungarian National Bank, Director General LI remarked that UNIDO can facilitate small and medium-sized enterprises’ access to credit lines from national banks, and broker linkages with key industry players in the countries where UNIDO works.

At the meeting with Mihály Varga, Minister for National Economy, the discussion focused on strengthening cooperation in the areas of science, industry and technology parks; social and economic inclusion of disadvantage groups; water management; vocational training for industrial competitiveness; and on building partnerships with counterpart institutions such as industry associations, chambers of commerce and banks. The Director General emphasized the importance of sharing Hungary’s transition experience with other countries in the region.

The Minister expressed his appreciation for the organization’s work, congratulated Li and UNIDO staff for their advocacy and technical cooperation activities, and underlined that UNIDO’s strategic direction was very much in line with Hungarian and EU development priorities for re-industrialization and the goal of raising the contribution of industry to GDP to 20 per cent by 2020. Industry in Hungary already contributes 23 per cent to GDP.

The Director General also met with Martina Makai, Deputy State Secretary for Development, Climate Policy and Priority Public Services, Ministry of National Development, who emphasized the Government’s strong commitment to address climate change. She proposed organizing meetings and workshops with UNIDO experts on industrial energy efficiency, green innovation and green industry.

The Director General referred to training workshops on green industry organized by the UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development in cooperation with the Central European University in Budapest, which could be used as a platform to organize dialogue on these areas.