TEHRAN – Iran and Hungary have signed a comprehensive cooperation document at the end of the third meeting of the two countries' Joint Economic Committee held in Budapest on Thursday, IRNA reported.

The protocol of the third Iran and Hungary Joint Economic Committee meeting was signed by the Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minster Ehsan Khandouzi and the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó.

The Hungarian minister, after signing the document, said his country supports Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The ministers who co-chaired the meeting, referred to a 55-percent increase in bilateral trade between the two countries in the time span between the second and the third Joint Economic Committee meeting, saying that this is a good sign and an indication of the committee’s significance.

During the meeting, the two sides also inked three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for cooperation in various agricultural fields including animal husbandry, health, and plant quarantine.

Planning to boost Tehran-Budapest economic cooperation

Speaking at the end of the meeting, the Iranian economy minister announced the two countries’ planning for boosting the annual bilateral trade to €100 million.

"Iran and Hungary are two countries with very similar standpoints in various economic, political, and cultural fields”, he said.

The economy minister said, "The message of the two countries' economy ministers is not limited to their economies only, as they both can contribute to resolving the regional conflicts and disputes."

Khandouzi referred to the role played by the two countries' university students as the cultural ambassadors, expressing hope that more Hungarian students will visit Iran in the future.

Szijjártó, for his part, referred to the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries' diplomatic relations and said that the two countries' cooperation in agriculture, education, as well as technology and industrial sectors has increased.

Sanctions unable to hinder Iran’s economic development

In another meeting with the representatives of the Iranian companies and businesses active in Hungary on Thursday, Khandouzi said: “The experiences of the past year have shown that sanctions cannot stop the growth and development of Iran's trade.”

“Over the last year, we proved that sanctions and pressures cannot isolate Iran, even though they have imposed some costs on us,” the minister said.

Khandouzi stressed the significant capabilities of Iran’s knowledge-based companies and stated that the Hungarian side has been shocked by the level of technological development achieved by Iranian companies.

Iran and Hungary had signed a memorandum of understanding for the expansion of economic cooperation in late 2021.

The MOU was signed by Khandouzi and Szijjártó on the sidelines of the two countries' second Joint Economic Committee meeting in Tehran on December 17.

The MOU covered a variety of areas including cooperation in the fields of water treatment, seeds, power plants, animal feed and construction materials, and joint investment opportunities.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed the facilitation of visa issuance procedures for the two sides’ businessmen and the Hungarian official promised to follow up on some issues that the Iranian transportation fleet had for transiting through Hungary.

Cooperation between a Hungarian bank and the Export Development Bank of Iran was another issue agreed upon during the two countries' Joint Economic Committee meeting.