Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said it was historically significant from the perspective of the Hungarian economy that the Hungarian Government had for the first time concluded an economic cooperation agreement with one of the states of the United States of America, and that Hungary is the first country to conclude an agreement of this nature with the Midwestern U.S. state of Indiana.

Mr. Szijjártó and Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb signed a memorandum of understanding on the conclusion of an economic cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Indiana Economic Development Association in Budapest on Wednesday.

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Following the signing of the memorandum, the Hungarian Foreign Minister highlighted the fact that the territory of the Midwestern U.S. state and Hungary are almost identical in size, in addition to which there are numerous similarities between their economic policy goals.

As an example, Mr. Szijjártó said that both regard job creation as the engine of economic growth, they both place significant emphasis on education and training, have low rates of tax and from a logistics perspective both parties occupy a determining place in their respective regions.

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The Minister also told the press that there are currently three enterprises from Indiana operating in Hungary, a pharmaceutical company and two automotive industry companies, which together employ some 800 people. “Economic relations are expanding dynamically and trade flow between Indiana and Hungary was around 100 million dollars last year, and doubled proportionally during the first quarter of this year. This contributed to trade flow between Hungary and the United States increasing by 11 percent during the first quarter”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

With regard to the future of economic cooperation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the parties would be placing the greatest emphasis on the high quality processing industry and the activities of the agriculture sector. “There is a good chance that Hungarian water management technologies will also be showcased and applied in Indiana”, he indicated, adding that cooperation already exists between universities and researchers from Indiana and Hungary, and the parties have agreed to further tighten this cooperation.

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Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the fact that Hungary and the U.S. state have a similar standpoint with regard to balancing environmental protection and competitiveness, and also with relation to establishing security. “Hungary wants to provide security and a high level of training and education to the people of Hungary, and the Government is doing everything possible to ensure that every citizen, institution and development project is safe, even if it must face the European Commission as a result”, the Foreign Minister declared.

Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb told reporters that the conclusion of the agreement will enable closer cooperation, and the parties will be in regular contact to ensure that mutual opportunities for economic development are suitably exploited.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)