“The development of economic cooperation between Hungary and Brazil is on the threshold of a great opportunity”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a Brazil-Hungary business forum in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.

The Minister highlighted the fact that the Brazilian and Hungarian governments share a similar approach to the most important dilemmas in global politics, and accordingly bilateral relations are not burdened by any open issues.

“Brazil is Hungary’s second most important trade partner in South America. The two countries realise 430 million dollars in trade with each other, there are 50 Hungarian-owned enterprises operating in particularly high added value sectors in Brazil, and Hungary is the fifth largest investor in Brazil from among the countries of the European Union”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

The Minister highlighted the fact that some one third of the South American country’s gross domestic product is generated in the city of Sao Paulo. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported on the fact that several agreements were concluded on simplifying food exports and introducing Hungarian water management technologies to the Brazilian market.

Mr. Szijjártó said it is a significant success that a Hungarian company has been afforded the contract to supply the full Brazilian McDonald’s chain with its cheese products. The Minister also mentioned that Hungarian water management companies that are applying to take part in Brazilian wastewater management projects have received 165 million forints (EUR 500,000) in funding.

“Hungary has an interest in the free trade agreement between the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the EU being concluded at the earliest opportunity, in view of the fact that it will be opening South American export opportunities up to a host of Hungarian enterprises”, the Minister declared. "The freer global trade, the better for Hungary”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade declared.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed that sectors that could face challenges, such as poultry or honey producers, can count on the assistance of the Hungarian government, and a security fund has been set up for them. “If unforeseen market tensions appear within these sectors, the Hungarian government will be providing funding”, he added.

The Minister said that Brazil is placing heightened emphasis on environmental issues, and is particularly counting on Hungarian forest management expertise in the interests of protecting the Amazonian region, and accordingly one of the main subjects of discussion at the current economic and business meetings was precisely this sector.

Following the Brazil-Hungary business forum, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade held talks with Paulo Skaf, President of the Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo.