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Hungary and Germany Reinforce Bilateral Cooperation

World Trade/World Affairs – Hungary/Germany
open eyes opinion {source: HungaryGov/HNA}

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Angela Merkel’s next week visit in Budapest clearly shows that Germany recognises the importance of the cooperation between the two countries, said Péter Szijjártó, minister of foreign trade and foreign affairs.

In his statement given to MTI the minister underlined: Germany is Hungary’s most important ally, and the Hungarian industry has practically grown together with the German industry. He also added that the cooperation between Central Europe and Germany was a crucial factor as far as the competitiveness of the whole of Europe is concerned.

He recalled that Angela Merkel and Viktor Orbán, prime minister held frequent consultations at the meetings of the European Council and the European People’s Party, nevertheless “in case of two allies working in such a close cooperation it is indispensable to hold bilateral consultations from time to time.”

He considers that the German chancellor’s visit to Budapest clearly proves that Germany recognises the importance and the efficiency of this cooperation.

It is an obvious sign of recognition that the chancellor pays a visit to Hungary in “in these geopolitically turbulent times”, the minister said.

Péter Szijjártó underlined that “the bilateral cooperation is not burdened by any open or delicate issue which could not be solved rapidly.” The economic and commercial relationships between the two countries “keep beating records”, and the minister added: one fourth of Hungary’s trade flow is related to Germany, and one fourth of foreign direct investments in Hungary are financed by Germany.

The Hungarian economy being open, its success greatly depends on exports and the level of investments it is able to attract. The way Hungary relates to the German economy is one of the key issues having an impact on the performance of the Hungarian economy. It is a significant given the fact that as many as six thousand German companies are operating in Hungary, providing work to about 300 thousand people, he pointed out.

The minister also mentioned that a strategic agreement has been made with nine German companies. German companies have been instrumental in making Hungary one of the strongholds of vehicle manufacturing. He emphasised that trade with Germany is growing dynamically; the Hungarian exports to Germany exceeded 21 billion Euros by the end of November 2014, the highest level ever reached in this respect.

The head of the Hungarian diplomacy also said that Hungary always takes into consideration the German position whenever it comes to important European issues or foreign policy decisions. Germany is an important “point of reference” in European and other foreign matters. He always consults with his German counterpart before the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, he added.

According to the minister “what is now going on in Ukraine is against both Ukraine’s, Russia’s and Europe’s interests”. That s why Hungary supports the German government in their proposal to establish a connection and consultation between the EU and Eurasian Economic Union, which seems a logical step in so much as the European Union’s competitiveness will be regained on the basis of the cooperation between the EU and the eastern part of the continent.

In the minister’s view Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest due in two weeks’ time will surely be put on the agenda of the negotiations conducted with Angela Merkel. The German chancellor regularly consults with the Russian president on the phone will, for she is making considerable efforts to resolve the situation in Ukraine via negotiations.

The minister also said that the topic of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement may also be raised during the negotiations, as this agreement seems to be the most significant free trade agreement of the previous decades.

Nevertheless, it would be too early to voice optimistic evaluations regarding this topic for the negotiations have started recently, and in all probability they will not be closed this year. He added that if the negotiations evolve according to the mandate given to the European Commission, both Europe and Hungary will be among the winners of the agreements that will be reached.

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