New Delhi, Oct. 17 (ANI): Hungarian Prime Minister Dr. Viktor Orban called on the President, Pranab Mukherjee, on Thursday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and said his country supported India's quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
Orban, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, said today that India's quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council was more than legitimate and India's membership would be good for global peace and cooperation.
While lauding the relationship between the two countries, Orban said that history has shown that there has been great appreciation in Hungary of India which represents a high culture of civilization.
Commenting on future prospects, Orban said that there exists good prospects for greater cooperation with India, and said the country has the potential to build on their relationship not just with Hungary but the whole of Central Europe which is a big area which can help India play a bigger role in Europe.
Welcoming Dr. Orban, President Pranab Mukherjee said India attaches great importance to its relations with Hungary and that the cultural relations far predate diplomatic relations.
Mukherjee also pointed out that Sanskrit was formally included as a regular subject of study in ELTE University in 1873.
The President also thanked the Hungarian Government for preserving the rooms where Rabindra Nath Tagore stayed while undergoing medical treatment and for establishing a beautiful Tagore Esplanade in the town of Balatonfured.
Appreciating the output of bilateral exchanges in recent years, President Mukherjee said regular and frequent exchanges in the last few years have enabled the two countries to enhance their co-operation, and added that he felt that there is abundant scope in the future to take the relationship forward.
"It is satisfying to know that Indian investments in Hungary are in the range of US$ 1.5 billion employing over 8000 Hungarians and are spread over a number of sectors. Bilateral trade has increased from US $ 398 million in 2007 to an impressive US $ 840 million in 2011," Mukherjee said.
"However this is far below our true potential. There is considerable scope for expansion to new areas such as bio-tech, clean energy, agriculture and water resource management," he added.
President Mukherjee also expressed his happiness over the large business delegation visiting India with the Hungarian Prime Minister, and said he had no doubt that their interactions with Indian counterparts will enable both sides explore new avenues to further strengthen economic relations.
After meeting the President, the Hungarian Prime Minister attended a business meeting by CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM.
Orban also called on Vice President Hamid Ansari this evening.
Orban will attend delegation level talks, signing of agreements at Hyderabad House later this evening.
Orban, who is scheduled to visit Mumbai tomorrow, is on a four-day state visit to India.
The two countries are likely to sign several agreements to further strengthen cooperation, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of traditional Indian medicine systems.
Ahead of the visit of the Hungarian Prime Minister, the Hungarian-Indian Joint Economic Committee met here. At the meeting, it was agreed to double the available funding for joint developments by business associates from the two countries.
Additionally, India made an Agreement to initiate talks with members of the Hungarian Water Industry Cluster on irrigation projects in the host country.
Earlier this year, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, visited Hungary where he discussed bilateral, regional and international issues with his Hungarian counterpart Janos Martonyi. (ANI)