Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi held the third dialogue with its MoU partner in Hungary, The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) on 26 April 2022. Speakers in the opening session included Amb. Vijay Thakur Singh, Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs, Mr Márton Ugrósdy, Director, The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Amb. Partha Satpathy, Ambassador of India to Hungary and Amb. András László Király, Ambassador of Hungary to India.
In the opening session, it was emphasized that the relations between India and Hungary are marked by high degree of trust and mutual respect. Both share long-standing friendly relations, marked by political contacts, economic engagement and cultural links. It was noted that the evolving situation in Ukraine has far-reaching impact on geo-politics and geo-economics. It has heightened great power contestation and put stability of the international order under stress. It has sped up processes which are shaping the future international order.
Session 1 on Changing Global Scenario: Perspectives from India and Hungary was chaired by Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, Professor, Centre for Canadian, US & Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, School of International Studies, JNU. Speakers included Mr. Viktor Eszterhai, Senior Researcher, IFAT and Dr Ankita Dutta, Research Fellow, ICWA. Discussions were held on recent developments in the global arena. It was highlighted that the world is in a state of flux. A series of crises ranging from Covid-19 pandemic, information warfare, Ukraine conflict, energy crisis, food insecurity among others are leading to major changes in the global order. Amidst this, India has stood out as an ‘island of stability’. Several Ministerial visits to India have taken place in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis, indicating India’s unique position amidst geopolitical shifts.
Session 2 on Emerging Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific was chaired by Mr. Márton Ugrósdy, Director, IFAT. Speakers for the session were Dr Stuti Banerjee, Research Fellow, ICWA and Mr. Zsolt Trembeczki, Associate Research Fellow, IFAT. The session focused on the geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and the emerging trends in the region. It was emphasised that national interests of the countries involved or present in the Indo-Pacific region need to be examined. US-China strategic competition was disadvantageous for the region. The European Union's strategy towards the Indo-Pacific region had two dimensions – working with like-minded partners and enhancing its capabilities. Growing importance of the Indo-Pacific region due to its strategic and economic significance was noted.
Session 3 on Exploring New Vistas in Economic Cooperation was chaired by Amb. Rahul Chhabra, Former Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, India. Speakers included Mr. Kristóf Végvári, Area Manager, Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Rohit Sharma, Director and Head-Europe, CIS and Turkey Division, FICCI. Discussions were held on the opportunities and challenges for economic cooperation between India and Hungary in the post-pandemic world. It was noted that in the recent past India had undertaken a series of steps to facilitate business environment in the country. The discussions highlighted electric vehicles, hydrogen gas production, IT services, etc. as possible new sectors for collaboration between India and Hungary. Cooperation also needed to be explored in sustainability technologies such as those related to pollution and water purification.