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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

The first lead-up event of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 was held in Budapest

Hungary joins the work of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) through the water sector. In the coming weeks, it shall be reviewed what projects Hungarian companies and government agencies could take part in – said Mr Levente Magyar, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, during the conference entitled „Water Connects – Enabling the Environment for Investments in the Water Sector.”

The conference, organized by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Exim Bank as a lead-up event to this year’s Budapest Water Summit, also served as an opening event of the Annual Meeting of AIIB.

In his opening speech, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade praised Hungary for its highly skilled labour.

He made it clear that Hungary would not want to be excluded from the opportunities offered by economic development in Asia.

Mr Magyar emphasized that Hungary was amongst the very first countries in the region to join AIIB, whose goal is to finance large-scale infrastructure projects especially in Asia.

Mr László Balogh, Deputy State Secretary for Financial Policy, said that the Government of Hungary believed that water management must play a crucial role in international development policy. He added that new technologies developed by Hungarian experts and the increased financial contribution of international development banks could together make regions hit by intense water shortage and water pollution more livable. He also explained that AIIB was one of the first banks to finance large development projects to an extent that is comparable to the financial contributions of many Western banks. Current global political and economic trends are good indicators of the rapid development that is happening in Asia. AIIB as well as numerous similar initiatives attest to the growing power of the continent.

According to Mr Balogh, water shortage and water pollution, which are mostly present in economically less developed regions, require strategic decisions. Providing the local populations with the necessary amount of clean drinking water is a major challenge. He epmhasized that if these projects were successful, the increasingly frequent waves of migration from these regions could be stopped, as these waves are largely the consequences of water shortages and subsequent conflicts. AIIB is expected to play a major role in overcoming these challenges. Hungary is certainly hopeful about its future cooperation with the organization – said Mr Balogh.

Mr Dany Alexander, Vice President of AIIB, emphasized that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is the first Chinese financial project that is open to any country to join. Currently, it has 97 members.

In the past three and a half years, 39 projects in 15 different countries have been approved by AIIB. The total value of these projects is close to USD 8 billion.

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