“Both Hungarian exports and the foreign trade surplus broke records in 2015”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said at a press conference on Monday with relation to the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

Hungarian exports reached 90.7 billion euros, which is a 7.4 percent increase compared to 2014, the Minister told reporters. In addition, following three years of reduction, the foreign trade surplus has again begun to increase, gaining 1.8 billion euros to achieve a record level of 8.1 billion euros, he added.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, Hungarian foreign trade achieved these records under decidedly difficult circumstances and while effacing extreme challenges in both the global economy and global politics.

The immigration situation has cause the most serious crisis in the history of Europe, oil prices have reduced the economic growth of several regions that are important to the Hungarian economy, thus decreasing Hungarian export opportunities, in addition to which the dispute between the European Union and Russia is also having an effect on trade, the Minster stated.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, these circumstances will become even difficult this year: we cannot report on progress with regard to any of the conflicts that are making life more difficult for us.

There will be even greater cutthroat competition for investment projects and export opportunities this year than there was last year, the Minster stressed.
The foreign trade institution system has performed excellently, but will have even more to do this year as the ratio of Hungarian exports must be significantly increased and accordingly small and medium-sized enterprises must be helped to acquire as many export opportunities as possible and Hungarian enterprises must be provided with more loan opportunities to increase international competitiveness, Mr. Szijjártó declared.

Increasing the ratio of Hungarian exports within national exports as a whole and the export performance of small and medium-sized enterprises cannot be achieved without action from the state, he noted.

With relation to reports from hvg.hu that a Hungarian woman has been raped by a Libyan refugee in Malta, Mr. Szijjártó said Hungary had asked the Maltese authorities to immediately investigate the events and provide information.

We have received no comprehensive information from the Maltese authorities. In response to efforts from the Hungarian Embassy in Rome and the Honorary Consul in Valetta, the Maltese authorities have confirmed that a Hungarian citizen has turned to police with relation to a crime of this nature.

Hungary regards it as unacceptable that the Maltese authorities are not providing more information, Mr. Szijjártó noted.