“Another ten Hungarian companies are joining the Outstanding Exporter Partnership Programme, in which nine enterprises are already participating”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Monday at an event to mark the ceremonious signing of the new cooperation agreements.

The Minister highlighted that the 19 enterprises involved in the programme achieved an export performance of 213 billion forints (EUR 656.3 million) last year, an increase of 8 percent compared to the previous year. “This means that the largest exporting companies achieved a higher increase in export capacity than the national average of 5 percent”, the Minister added. Thanks to the signing of the new agreements, Agrofeed Ltd., Control-X Medical Ltd., FF Metal Processing Phc., Gémtech Ltd., Jász-Plasztik Ltd., Kerox Ltd., Pick Szeged Phc., Sanatmetal Ltd., Vajda Paper Ltd. and Wellis Phc. are now also participating in the programme.

Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that the performance of the Hungarian economy increased by 5.3 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, and that this was partly facilitated by a 6.4 percent increase in exports. “Hungary is in 92nd place worldwide with relation to the size of its population, but produces the 34th highest export performance”, he explained. The Minister stressed that all of the necessary decisions have been made and all institutions set up in the interests of enabling Hungary to have Central Europe’s most effective and successful export promotion and financing system.

“In April, the National Export Strategy was adopted, the main goal of which it to continuously increase the ratio of Hungarian-owned enterprises within Hungary’s export performance, to support the international appearance of Hungarian brands and to diversify exports from a geographical perspective”, the Minister explained. “Eximbank is playing a key role in this, working together with 1604 clients and providing over 300 billion forints (EUR 924 million) in new credit every year for the fifth year running”, he pointed out.

He also spoke about the fact that the Hungarian Government has adopted an “outvestment” strategy, within the framework of which it is helping enterprises that have gained strength on the Hungarian market to find investment opportunities abroad in the interests of enabling the financial resources acquired there to provide further investment resources in Hungary and facilitate the dimensional transition of the Hungarian economy, its transition to a development-orientated economy. The Government has already earmarked the first phase of the required funding, 10 billion forints (EUR 30.8 million), and the first tenders will soon be published.

“The first tied aid loan agreement on the African continent within the framework of the Southern Opening Policy was signed with the Republic of Cape Verde with relation to 50 million dollars. In addition, Hungarian investments are being realised in ten countries within the framework of the tied aid loan programme at a total value of 356 billion forints (EUR 1.1 billion)”, he added.

László Bárány, Managing Director of Master Good Ltd., which had previously joined the Programme, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had assisted the company when, during the European avian flu epidemic, Japan and Singapore had ordered an import ban on Hungarian poultry products from the whole country, but thanks to the intervention of local foreign trade representations Hungary was allowed to regionalise, meaning the import ban was only enforced with relation to infected counties. “In addition, they also provided support when the company began exporting to Canada, and found partners in Japan and the Philippines. The Hungarian pet foods produced by the company will soon be appearing on the Vietnamese market, and a small poultry breeding facility is also being established”, he explained.

The Outstanding Exporter Partnership Programme was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this January in the interests of concluding cooperation agreements with outstanding Hungarian-owned export companies that significantly contribute to Hungarian exports. The partnership indicates an acknowledgement of the given company’s export activities and further priority assistance using the instruments offered by the state export promotion system.