“According to preliminary data, this year the economy could once again produce the highest export figures in the history of the Hungarian economy”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Hungarian Export Day, on Thursday.
“The performance of the Hungarian foreign economy demonstrates the economy’s growth trajectory”, he added, pointing out that exports had also broken all previous records last year.
At the first Export Day organised by Hungary’s export-import bank (Eximbank), Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: “According to data for the first eight months of the year Hungarian exports have increased by 3 percent this year, thanks especially to the machinery sector and the pharmaceuticals sector. During the first eight months of this year Hungary has already exported more to 34 countries than during the whole of last year, and has exceeded 90 percent of last year’s total exports in the case of 10 countries”.
“Hungarian exports increased by 7 percent last year, as a result of which Hungary became the world’s 35th largest exporter”, he said. “Hungary has been awarded the right to host the World Export Development Forum in 2017”, he announced.
Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that the success of small and medium-sized enterprises on foreign markets is also aided by the institutional system. “The Hungarian National Trading House now has representations operating in 47 countries worldwide and the network will be expanded with 9 new offices next year”, he said.
The Foreign Minister also mentioned that 79.1 percent of exports were destined for countries within the European Union, but thanks to the Government Eastern and Southern Opening policies exports to countries with which Hungary has tightened cooperation within the framework of these policies increased by 7 and 9 percent respectively between 2010 and 2015. “Hungary’s export to GDP ratio was 89 percent in the first six months of the year”, he added.
According to Mr. Szijjártó, Eximbank’s loan portfolio now exceeds 745 billion forints (EUR 2.4bn) and the bank has 890 clients, an increase of 45 percent since the middle of last year. During the first six months of the year the bank paid out 153 billion forints in new loans, an increase of 12.5 percent, 57 percent of which was awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises.
“The Bank’s activities are responsible for an export-import surplus of 191.4 billion forints and 31.3 billion forints in domestic production surplus during the first six months of the year, which increased Hungary’s nominal GDP by 151.5 billion forints”, he told reporters.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that since 2010 the Hungarian economy has been on a growth trajectory since 2010 thanks to its non-conventional economic policies. “During the past six years it has been demonstrated that, in contrast to the old dogmas, it is not necessary to choose between growth and new jobs or fiscal discipline”, he said.
“It is possible to increase competitiveness while people’s income is also continuously increasing. The new economic policy is based on a major decrease in taxes, which brings the country more investment and more workplaces. Decreasing tax burdens enable the continuous increase of wages. The upcoming reduction in the rate of corporate tax will make Hungary the most competitive investment environment”, he added.
CEO of Eximbank Zoltán Urbán said: Hungarian Export Day, which is being organised for the first time this year, is a trade forum which not only provides export-related knowledge, but also provides information on opportunities aimed at assisting enterprises and investment promotion.
“According to statistics, global trade shrank by 13 percent in 2015, while Hungarian exports increased by 7 percent and Eximbank increased the volume of its export-related loans by 30 percent”, he told reporters.
The events guest of honour was Kazakhstan. The Joint Kazakh-Hungarian Fund invests in agricultural development projects in Kazakhstan and more and more Hungarian enterprises are expected to appear in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Hungary Nurbakh Rustemov said the event was an excellent opportunity for negotiations on business development.
“Hungary is an important strategic partner to Kazakhstan in the region and the strategic council and business councils set up so far facilitate the further development of relations”, he said. A new direct air passenger route will soon be launched between Astana and Budapest; the related agreement will be signed on Thursday.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)