BUDAPEST, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Talks are underway regarding Turkish investments in Hungary worth 500 million U.S. dollars, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday.
"Currently, negotiations about eight Turkish projects are underway, and hopefully the result of these will be an investment package worth half a billion dollars," Orban told a Hungarian-Turkish business forum held during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Budapest.
According to Orban, the fields of cooperation could and should include the military, agriculture, as well as water management, in which Hungary has internationally-recognized expertise.
"More than 1,000 people are currently working for Turkish-owned companies in Hungary," Orban said at the beginning of the forum.
More than 300 people representing some 150 companies took part at the forum organized by the Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH).
"Economic ties are strong between our two countries," Erdogan said. "But bilateral trade volume between the two countries should increase, and we are going to do everything to support this goal," he added.
The launch of a direct flight between Budapest and Mumbai via Turkish Airlines is one of the first concrete examples of the possible expansion of business relations between Hungary and Turkey.
Excluding the direct Budapest-Beijing flight, there are no long-haul flights to destinations in East Asia and South Asia from Budapest.
Erdogan listed tourism and logistics as areas having key potential in the vitalization of the relations. He added that cooperation between Turkish-Hungarian companies was also good in the fields of education, construction and energy, but relations between financial institutions needed strengthening.
On a less positive tone, Erdogan deplored that speculative attacks have been made against the Turkish economy over the recent months due to Turkey's counter-terrorism actions.
"All of our institutions have taken the necessary steps. We have announced a new economic program, and the restoration of economic equilibrium shows positive signs," Erdogan said.
On the refugee issue, he slammed the European Union for insufficient support. "Turkey already spent 33 billions U.S. dollars from its own budget to the close to 4 million refugees in Turkey, with no international aid and Europeans providing only 1.7 billion euros (1.95 billion U.S. dollars) for this purpose, instead of the promised 6 billion euros."
Of the 4 million refugees, 3.5 million are Syrians while some half-million are from Iraq, according to Erdogan.