New Delhi, Oct 17: India attaches great importance to its relations with Hungary, with which cultural links predate diplomatic ties, President Pranab Mukherjee said Thursday as the central European country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban called on him.
According to a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president pointed out that Sanskrit was formally included as a regular subject of study in a Hungarian university in 1873.
He thanked the Hungarian government for preserving the rooms where Indian Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore stayed while undergoing medical treatment and for establishing a beautiful Tagore Esplanade in the town of Balatonfured.
The president said regular and frequent exchanges in the last few years have enabled the two countries to enhance bilateral co-operation and boost trade.
“It is satisfying to know that Indian investments in Hungary are in the range of $1.5 billion employing over 8,000 Hungarians and are spread over a number of sectors. Bilateral trade has increased from $398 million in 2007 to an impressive $840 million in 2011,” said Mukherjee.
However, there is considerable scope for expansion to new areas such as bio-tech, clean energy, agriculture and water resource management, he noted.
Orban said India can play a bigger role in Europe while supporting its quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.