“A total of 170 Japanese companies provide jobs for 35 thousand Hungarians, and this is one of the reasons why it is important to maintain the dynamics of the development of Hungarian-Japanese relations”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Tokyo.

“Japanese companies form the 7th largest investor community in Hungary, and the largest number of investments in Hungary from among the Asian countries have come from Japan”, the Minister explained. “Investments on the part of Japanese enterprises are also extremely important with relation to the fact that they represent a level of technology that is greatly contributing to the dimensional transition of the Hungarian economy; to the fact that research & development, added value and level of technology are on the increase within the Hungarian economy”, he emphasised. “Japanese enterprises are contributing to a significant extent to the future competitiveness of the Hungarian economy with their modern technologies, and accordingly it is no accident that Hungary has concluded strategic cooperation agreements with six Japanese corporations”, he pointed out.

“Our cooperation has a very old foundation in view of the fact that, during the period of the regime change, Japanese companies were among the first to appear on the Hungarian market and to invest in Hungary and give their vote of confidence to the Hungarian people, at a time when very few were doing so”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted.

“Trade flow is currently 2.2 billion dollars, but it could be more”, he said, explaining that Japan used to be the number one international outlet for highly processed Hungarian food industry products. “We have succeeded in coming to an agreement with relation to the fact that exports of Hungarian poultry products can begin again following the earlier restrictions, and we are also close to having exports of Hungarian pork products recommence”, he explained.

The Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that Hungary is currently offering the best investment conditions in Europe, with the lowest rates of tax in Europe payable in Hungary. “Japanese enterprises have already been bringing new jobs to Hungary that have a particularly high level of added value, and now that the Hungarian economy is being transitioned into a new dimension Japanese companies will be bringing more workplaces with a high technological standard to Hungary”, he stated.

“The largest Japanese automotive industry suppliers are present in Hungary and are continuously expending their presence”, he also said, adding that in his opinion now that the Hungarian automotive industry is shifting to a new era the high-tech investment projects of Japanese enterprises will be playing a major role.

“It is important to maintain the dynamics of the development of bilateral relations, and for this reason during its visit to Tokyo the Hungarian delegation will be signing several financial agreements that will enable the further reinforcement of the financing background of economic relations”, Mr. Szijjártó told the press. “Eximbank has created a 1.2-billion-dollar credit line to finance cooperation between Hungarian and Japanese enterprises”, he stated.

The Minister also spoke about the fact that education relations are also being developed, with a Hungarian lectorate being established at a Japanese university. “A hundred Japanese scholarship students are studying in Hungary and a total of 600 Japanese students are attending Hungarian universities, 400 of whom are medical students”, he added.