Jakarta. Indonesia and Hungary seek to foster bilateral cooperation following the high-level meeting between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to commemorate 65 years of diplomatic relations on Thursday.
Hungary has offered assistance in people-to-people projects including a cancer hospital and clean water supplies, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.
“Hungary offered to build a hospital focusing on cancer therapy and oncology,” Retno said at the State Palace.
Indonesia also considers expanding the $36 million clean water projects which were concluded in 12 provinces in December with the Hungarian assistance.
“We want to expand the project and will talk about the details soon,” Retno said.
The foreign minister said Jokowi invited Hungary to invest in e-toll payment system and join the tender process that will go until April.
The president also encouraged the central European country to get involved in the capital relocation project in East Kalimantan, Retno said.
“The president hoped that the cooperation will go beyond investments,” Retno said.
The bilateral cooperation covers sports and education as well, in which Hungary invites three Indonesian soccer players to train in the country every year and offers scholarship for 100 Indonesian students.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said Hungary supports Indonesia regarding European Union’s palm oil restriction, during a meeting between Retno and her Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto.
“Both foreign ministers agreed that any trade restrictions, including the European Union palm oil restriction, will result in counter-restriction, which is not good for global trade,” he said at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jakarta.
“The central and eastern European countries are potential partners for economic cooperation. Our businessmen could enter the European Union market through central European countries,” Teuku said.
Hungary is Indonesia’s third-largest trade and investment partner in central Europe. Bilateral trade was valued at $164 million last year, comprising mainly electronics, footwear, textile, horticultural product and rubber.