Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy Levente Magyar said that the volume of bilateral trade between Hungary and Macedonia is growing continuously and this year has already witnessed outstanding results, which could be given even further impetus by the December meeting of the Hungarian-Macedonian Joint Economic Committee in Budapest and the business forum organised parallel to it.

In a telephone interview given to Hungarian news agency MTI from Skopje, the Minister of State said he had attended meetings in preparation for the joint committee meeting due in December and had met the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Economy and Minister for Foreign Investments.

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Levente Magyar said that Hungarian-Macedonian political relations are outstanding and “these strong political foundations can be built upon in economic terms”. He pointed out that the first four months of this year had produced outstanding economic results, with a 30 percent increase in bilateral trade.

Hungary is currently the fifth largest investor in Macedonia, and this may be further improved owing to close political ties and geographical proximity as well as the complementary nature of the Hungarian and Macedonian economies, the Minister of State said, adding that Hungary would like to be among the top three and to this end the Government is doing everything possible to promote inter-corporate links.

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In terms of economic relations, it is the fields of agriculture and energy that the two countries are especially interested in, he explained, adding that the Joint Economic Committee’s five working groups on healthcare, tourism, agriculture, energy, and small and medium-sized enterprises are also working on further improving these relations.

The Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy announced that plans for this year include launching a direct flight between Budapest and Skopje in view of the fact that it currently takes a total of 7-8 hours to reach the Macedonian capital from Budapest and a direct flight could reduce travel time to just 90 minutes. This would facilitate the development of tourism, cooperation between enterprises, and human relations, he added.

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Levente Magyar declared that his meetings also touched upon Hungary’s support of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, which is a permanent element of bilateral relations.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)