Szijjártó: Hungary Backs Reform Of UN

  • 18 May 2017 9:40 AM
Hungary supports reforming the United Nations with the aim of making the organisation more effective and ensuring that it can respond faster to global challenges, Hungary’s foreign minister said in New York ahead of a UN session on innovation and digitalisation and talks with UN officials and US business leaders.

Péter Szijjártó told MTI that in his address to the UN session he would point out that a new phase of competition was unfolding in the global economy. Following competition based on tax cuts and infrastructure development, global competition will now turn towards digitalisation, he said.

This race will depend on which countries can digitalise their economies the quickest and who will be the fastest to connect production with digitalisation, the minister said.

Szijjártó noted that Hungary has the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe and one of the lowest personal income tax rates. With its extremely dense transportation network in the heart of Europe, Hungary has become Europe’s winner in the competition of tax cuts and infrastructure development.

“Having said that, we will not be satisfied until we become the winners in the European digitalisation competition, and a good basis for this is that hightech industries -- flagships of the new industrial era -- no longer just locate their production centres in Hungary but their development centres, too, and this especially applies to the autos industry and tech industry,” he said.

The digital economy already accounts for 20% of Hungarian GDP, and 15% of people employed in Hungary work in the digital economy, he added. Szijjártó said in his speech he would also say that Hungary must keep two years ahead of the European digital agenda if it wants to win the European digitalisation competition and attract new ultramodern investments to further accelerate growth.

He added that one consequence of the new digital world is that the number of devices connected over the internet will exceed the number of mobile phones in the world next year, so there is no time to wait.

Szijjártó said he would also emphasise that Hungary has the world’s third fastest 4G mobile network, which is why the government had set the goal of making broadband internet available to all Hungarian homes and businesses by 2018.

The government will also reduce the VAT rate on internet services from 18% to 5% next year, he said, adding that Hungary is set to become a regional centre for the development and testing of 5G networks in central and eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, the goal for 2020 is to have 100 Mbps internet speeds available in at least half the country and for Hungary to be among the first countries in the world to implement large-scale 5G connectivity, the minister added.

It will be through these measures that Hungary will be able to get the carmakers and IT and electronics companies that make up the backbone of the Hungarian economy to develop and test their latest technologies in Hungary, thereby giving a significant boost to the country’s economic growth, Szijjártó said.

Szijjártó said that in his talks with UN Under-Secretary-Generals Jeffrey Feltman and Amina Mohamed, he would make clear that Hungary supports reforming the UN as well as the organisation stepping up its role in the fight against terrorism. Hungary also supports the UN devoting greater attention to conflict prevention, he added.

Further, Hungary proposes that the UN should make an effort to ensure that Middle Eastern Christians who had been forced to flee their homes can return safely to the region, Szijjártó added.

He said the Hungarian government will support the UN’s conflict prevention activities and the establishment of an international independent mechanism aimed at ensuring that crimes committed in Syria do not go unpunished, with 50,000 euros each.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

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