South Korea and Hungary commit to carbon neutrality by 2050

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in met the Hungarian President on Wednesday in Budapest, where the two leaders pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in their countries by 2050.

In a press conference following talks with Hungarian President Janos Ader, Moon said bilateral trade between Hungary and South Korea broke records last year despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. of COVID-19.

The relations between the countries will be elevated to the rank of strategic partner, Moon said, adding that large South Korean investments in the manufacture of electric vehicles and batteries in Hungary could be expanded.

Moon’s visit was part of a nine-day European tour that includes a summit Thursday in the Hungarian capital with leaders of the Visegrad Group, a four-country pact that includes Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic . Moon visited Italy and the UK earlier in his trip.

He was due to hold a closed-door meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later Wednesday, according to an official in the prime minister’s office.

It was the first state visit by a South Korean president to Hungary since 2001.

Hungarian President Ader said he and Moon also met on Tuesday at the ongoing United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We have two things in common when it comes to climate change,” Ader said. “We both agreed that our countries would be carbon neutral by 2050, and we both believe that climate neutrality cannot be achieved without nuclear power.”

South Korea is one of Hungary’s biggest investors, Ader said, adding that the country has invested more than $ 5 billion in Hungary to date and capital investments in 2019 have exceeded those in Hungary. Germany, a key trading partner of Hungary.

“We hope this trend continues,” Ader said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a statement that bilateral trade between the two countries was around $ 4.5 billion in 2020.

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