Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó will be holding negotiations at the United Nations on Wednesday, where he will also be making a speech at the organisation’s high-level meeting on innovation and digital development.

During his visit to New York, the Hungarian Foreign Minister will also be holding meetings with the directors of several large American corporations on new investments in Hungary on the part of sectors that are based on research & development and which represent a particularly high added value. Mr. Szijjártó will be holding talks with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed, in addition to which he will meet with the Australian Foreign Minister and make a speech at the UN high-level meeting on innovation and digital connectivity.

Mr. Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI that in his speech he will be drawing attention to the fact that the global economy is seeing the opening of a new chapter, which is also leading to new competition within the global economy. “Following competition to reduce taxes and develop infrastructure, the time has now arrived for a digitalisation competition within the global economy, and in this competition the most important question is who is capable of digitalising its own economy the most rapidly, and who can link production in their country to digitalisation the most quickly”, the Minister said.

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the fact that by introducing the lowest level of corporation tax and personal income tax in the European Union, and with its extremely dense transport network that lies at the centre of Europe, Hungary has become the European winner of the tax cuts and infrastructure development competition. “So we have become the European winners of both the tax reduction competition and the infrastructure development competition”, the Minister declared, adding that “We are not satisfied with this, however, and would also like to become the European winners of the digitalisation competition, to which excellent foundations are being provided by the fact that the high-tech sectors of industry that are regarded as the flagships of the transition to the new industrial era no longer regard Hungary as simply a production centre, but also as a development centre, and especially within the fields of the automotive industry and the IT industry”. “This is proven by the fact that the digital economy already represents 20 percent of Hungary’s GDP and 15 percent of the people employed in Hungary work within the digital economy”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

In his speech, the Minister will also stress that in the interests of enabling Hungary to win the digitalisation competition, and to attract further ultra-modern investments and further accelerate Hungarian economic growth as a result, Hungary is consistently remaining 2 years ahead of the European digitalisation schedule. “This must also remain the case in future”, Mr. Szijjártó declared, adding that as a result of the new digital world, by next year the number of devices connected via the internet will already have exceeded the total number of mobile phones in the world, so there is no more time to wait.

Mr. Szijjártó will also be emphasising that in view of the fact that Hungary has the world’s third best G4 network, the Hungarian Government has set as its goal that by 2018 every household and enterprise in Hungary will have access to superfast broadband internet, which means a speed of 30 megabits/second. The Government is reducing VAT on internet services from 18 percent to 5 percent and will be the Central European centre for 5G development and testing. “We will be achieving these goals by 2018, and by 2020 at least half the country will have access to 100 Mbps internet, and will be the first in the world to introduce the widespread use of the 5G network” the Minister added. “Thanks to all this and the measures introduced by the Hungarian Government, the large automotive industry, IT and electronics companies that form the backbone of the Hungarian economy will be developing and testing their state-of-the-art technologies in Hungary, thus enabling the growth of the Hungarian economy to move forward into a new dimension”, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó told MTI that during his meetings with the UN’s two Deputy Secretary-Generals he will be making it clear that Hungary supports the comprehensive reform of the United Nations to enable the organisation to operate more efficiently and react more rapidly to major challenges. Accordingly, Hungary supports the UN reinforcing its role in the fight against terrorism and is strongly in favour of the UN placing much greater emphasis on preventing conflicts.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister said that in the interests of the success of these reforms, the Hungarian Government has decided to provide 50 thousand euros in funding towards the UN’s conflict-preventing diplomatic activities, and a further 50 thousand euros towards the establishment of an international and independent mechanism to ensure that the perpetrators of the worst crimes in Syria do not remain unpunished.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said he felt the reform of the UN was necessary in the interests of enabling the organisation to act as effectively as possible to protect Christian communities throughout the world, and Hungary is calling on the UN to undertake a role to assure that Christian communities that have been displaced from the Middle Eastern region are able to return to their homes in peace at the earliest opportunity.