“Although Europe has continued to lose some of its competitiveness for various reasons, Central Europe is travelling an opposite path thanks to its economic and security policies that are based on common sense, and the Hungarian Government is doing everything possible to assure the safety of its people and of investments”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed on Thursday in Milan.

In his speech at the opening of the Hungarian-Italian Business Forum, Mr. Szijjártó said the Hungarian model had proven that there is no need to choose between economic growth and fiscal discipline, but that it is possible to achieve both simultaneously. Hungary built the economic policy that led to this model on two basic principles: “Success and merit are based on the work performed”, and “The state does not give people money in exchange for nothing”. “State benefits are not based on normative foundations, but appear in the form of tax allowances”, he explained, adding that people who expect help from the Hungarian state can receive it via the income they receive from working.

Mr. Szijjártó said that in his opinion this policy helped us “to become part of the solution in Europe instead of part of the problem”.


The Foreign Minister explained that that there is a “merciless battle for investments” going on, and this is the battle that Hungary has entered. Among the economic arguments in favour of Hungary, he listed the fact that Hungary has the lowest rate of corporation tax in Europe and personal income tax is also the lowest in the EU, and this creates the opportunity for the Hungarian economy to be competitive.

Acceding to Mr. Szijjártó, Hungary also has the most flexible labour regulations in Europe, which takes into account the rights of both employers and workers. In addition, the education system is being reorganised to train young people in line with the requirements of the economy and the job market, he said.

He also pointed out that foreign trade and foreign policy have been integrated in Hungary, meaning economic diplomacy has been placed at the centre of foreign policy, and the task of foreign policy is to recognise and enforce foreign economy interests.

“Hungary is proud of its economic growth and uniquely wide-ranging investment promotion policy”, the Minister said. “The Hungarian economy ‘has reached the doorway to a new era’ in view of the fact that it is approaching what to all intents and purposes is full employment, and accordingly it is also looking for high added value and investments that are based on research & development when it comes to job creation”, he explained.

The Foreign Minister announced that Hungary’s export-import bank Eximbank has opened a 510 million euro credit line to facilitate cooperation between Hungarian and Italian enterprises.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and I have a common set of values that “places all possible differences of opinion on concrete issues in brackets”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “These are the Christian values that both of us represent, and based on which we are not afraid to talk about the fact that as Christian politicians it is our duty to protect Christian communities that are sometimes in danger”, he explained.

The first priority for Hungary is the security of the Hungarian people, and this is why we said a clear no at the very beginning to “a hypocritical European migration policy”. “The Hungarian Government will continue to insist on the fact that the Hungarian people and the investments realised in Hungary must remain secure”, the Foreign Minister said in closing.