By Rasana Gasimova
Hungary may start importing Azerbaijani gas in 2023, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Siyarto said at a press conference on the results of the 7th meeting of Azerbaijani-Hungarian intergovernmental commission held in Budapest on February 15.
“The 1-2 billion cubic meters of gas that Hungary will annually receive from Azerbaijan will significantly increase the country's energy security. Hungary may start importing Azerbaijani gas in 2023,” Siyarto, local media reported.
He noted that Hungary will be able to purchase Azerbaijani gas due to the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor nearing completion and the increase in the country’s gas production to reach 45 billion cubic meters per year.
Siyarto recalled the agreement signed between the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL and the American Chevron, as a result of which MOL acquired a 9.5 percent stake in the project to develop a block of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields and a 9 percent stake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the largest pipeline in Azerbaijan and the region. He noted that these are the largest investments that Hungary made in the Caucasus.
For his part, Azerbaijani Labor and Social Protection Minister Sahil Babayev said that Azerbaijan and Hungary are discussing the creation of a Business Council to expand contacts and mutual investments between the business communities of the two countries.
"The volume of trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Hungary amounted to $35.7 million in 2019. Hungarian companies engaged in trade, transport, agriculture and services are successfully operating in the country, it is important to expand investment cooperation," Babayev said.
He noted that the existing potential for cooperation between the two countries will allow further developing relations, particularly noting the importance of energy cooperation, as well as exploring cooperation potential in the field of renewable energy sources.
During the meeting the sides exchanged views on further cooperation in the field of non-oil exports.
They also discussed the possibilities of expanding ties in the field of education and science, cooperation in the field of agriculture and food security, building import-export potential in these areas, as well as cooperation in health, culture and transport.