Further increase of food and wine export volumes is essential to ensure further improvement of export sales of the Hungarian economy, said appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Szijjártó Péter on Tuesday, at a Hungarian wine presentation held in Budapest.

Maintaining the positive trend in export is indispensable to ensure a dynamic and long-term growth of the Hungarian economy in 2014 and later on, Mr Szijjártó said, adding that food and wine export play a key role in this aspect.

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Mr Szijjártó reminded that Hungarian export grew by 6 percent last year; export to the European Union, European non-EU countries and non-European countries increased by 5, 9 and 7 percent respectively.

Talking about the Hungarian wine export he said that export to EU countries shall focus on improving the quality of products, while export to Eastern markets shall focus on increasing the quantity.

Over 26 billion liters of wine were produced in Hungary in 2013. Despite a decrease in produced volume and area of production, wine export have remained leveled for the last three years, with 60 million liters and EUR 75 million in revenues, Mr Szijjártó added.

He emphasized the importance of increasing the proportion of quality wine, which would allow for higher average sales prices. Talking about government measures he underlined that Hungarian wine may later be patented pursuant to the Hungarikum Act.

He pointed out that one of the key goals of the trade house system is the support of Hungarian wine export. The number of trade houses, 11 at the moment, shall reach 25 by the end of the year, with new trade houses established mostly in Far Eastern, Northern African and CIS countries, as part of the government’s ‘Opening towards the East’ strategy. Now it is the task of the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) to help boost sales of Hungarian wine in international grocery store chains operating in Hungary, Mr Szijjártó added.

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594 products from 130 wineries in 7 Hungarian regions were presented to Czech, Polish and Slovakian representatives of Lidl grocery store chain at the event on Tuesday, with the purpose to increase sales of Hungarian wine in Lidl stores across those three countries – Grósz Jenő, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lidl Hungary, said.

Mr Grósz reminded that the program Lidl for Hungarian Suppliers was launched in March last year to increase the share of Hungarian products on the shelves of Lidl stores, and thus support Hungarian producers, and contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the Hungarian economy.    
Last year Lidl added 327 Hungarian products to its portfolio, contracted 26 new Hungarian suppliers, and sales of Hungarian products increased by 20 percent.

At the start of the program Lidl offered 106 products of 36 Hungarian suppliers in 9 European countries. And now there are 178 products of 55 Hungarian suppliers available in 10 countries.

Lidl Hungary currently distributes Hungarian wine in 7 European countries. The company sold over 6 million bottles of Hungarian wine in 159 stores in Hungary, and the value of exported wine exceeded HUF 1 billion – Mr Grósz added.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)