“Hungarian-Japanese relations have never been as good as they are today”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Tokyo.

At an investment seminar entitled 150 Years of Japanese-Hungarian Economic Relations, the Minister highlighted: “The friendship and alliance between the two countries is based on mutual trust and respect, as also proven by the fact that Japanese enterprises and people have always had great confidence in Hungary”.

“Thirty years ago, the regime change realised a transition from communist dictatorship to democracy, in addition to which the free market was also established. This was a period that was full of challenges, and at the time few people believed that Central Europe, and within it Hungary, would be capable of rapid development”, he reminded those present. “But Japanese enterprises were among the first to have confidence in Hungary and were among the first foreign investors, and this is something we will never forget”, he stated.

“2010 was a similar turning-point in the history of the Hungarian economy, when we created the Hungarian model”, Mr. Szijjártó explained. “Until then, it had seemed that it was mandatory to chose between economic growth and job-creation, and fiscal discipline, but Hungary has proven that there is no need to choose, and both goals can be achieved simultaneously”, he pointed out. “The country’s long-term goal is to maintain a permanent rate of economic growth that is at least 2 percent higher than the EU average”, he emphasised.

From among the results of recent years, the Minister mentioned that in addition to high economic growth, sovereign debt is decreasing, a work-based economy has been established, the tax system and vocational training system have been reformed, and wages are also on the increase.

Mr. Szijjártó praised Hungarian-Japanese economic relations. “Hungary’s goal is to tighten cooperation even further”, he stated. The Minister told reporters that the seminar had been organised to mark the official visit to Tokyo by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “There are also no open issues in Hungarian-Japanese political relations, which offers a good chance for the construction of successful business relations”, he stated.