PM: Hungary Is An Open And Friendly Country

  • 10 Jun 2015 9:00 AM
PM: Hungary Is An Open And Friendly Country
In Budapest on Tuesday, at the annual general assembly of the Union of Arab Banks, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Hungary is an open and friendly country where there are no obstacles to investment. Foreign investors create jobs in Hungary, and for this reason they are our friends, the Prime Minister said.

 He added that public safety in Hungary is outstanding, and that furthermore “the culture of respect” is present in the country, whereas elsewhere in this part of the world respect is starting to disappear.

“They respect God less and less, they do not pay due respect to the nation, and they do not speak of families as they would deserve it”, he said. There are places where this – the disappearance of the culture of respect – is regarded as natural, they have even come up with a word for it “progression”. Therefore, everyone to the West from us is progressive, but we do not share this view, he added.

In Hungary everyone is received with respect; people coming from the Islamic world are also not regarded as posing threats, but as representatives of a developed civilisation, and “we are not ashamed to learn from them from time to time”, Mr. Orbán said.

The Prime Minister added that in Hungary, no one is given lectures on democracy and human rights. This would be unfair to those who honour us with their visits, he said.

Mr. Orbán said that just because we in the West have built democracy based on human rights, Hungary does not assume that the same approach would also have the same positive effects in other parts of the world. Therefore Hungary acknowledges the right of every country to establish the institutions and procedures it thinks will lead to success in its own circumstances, he explained.

The Prime Minister also said that Hungary has become an economic success story: exports are rallying and growth is the second fastest in the EU. The Prime Minister stated that Hungary has a stable financial system with its own currency, which it will maintain in the foreseeable future. Hungary’s accession to the eurozone is not currently on the agenda, and he added that “we see that countries which are not part of the eurozone are the more successful ones”. Hungary will not embark upon uncertain accession adventures in the coming period, but will preserve its financial stability through its own currency, Mr. Orbán said.

He also pointed out that areas of especial interest to foreign investors in Hungary could be the real-estate market, the tourism sector (growing at 8–10% annually), the healthcare industry, water management, agriculture and the food industry.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó also gave an address at the beginning of the general assembly. He said that the Arab world plays a priority role in Hungarian foreign policy, which focuses primarily on foreign trade. He said that as part of Hungary’s Eastward Opening strategy, it has laid new foundations for its relationship with Arabic countries.

He recalled that due to the closure of Nokia’s factory in Hungary in 2013, the country’s exports to the United Arab Emirates have decreased by 80 per cent, and exports to Saudi Arabia have also seen a significant fall.

If we reduce our dependence on multinational companies and instead build direct relationships between Arabic and Hungarian companies, we can prevent these sudden downturns in trade flows, he explained.

Mr. Szijjártó emphasised that the Hungarian government is working to make Hungary’s investment and business climate the most attractive in Central Europe. He stressed that currently Hungary is number one in Central Europe in terms of its FDI to GDP ratio.

The Union of Arab Banks was founded in 1974, with headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Two hundred bank directors from the Arab world attended the general assembly in Budapest.

Source: Prime Minister's Office

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