“Hungary has an interest in the global economy being as free and unrestricted as possible, because the performance of the Hungarian economy is determined to a major extent by export performance”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in a telephone interview to Hungarian news agency MTI from Washington.

The Minister issued the statement following a meeting with United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“A continuous increase in exports is one of the most important prerequisites for maintaining the rate of growth of the economy, as clearly indicated by the fact that our ‘European champion’ first quarter growth required a 6.4 percent increase in exports”, he emphasised.

“An increase in exports of this level requires the global economy to be free and unrestricted, and for Hungary to encounter as few sanctions or restrictive measures as possible”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

“Budapest has nothing to fear from international competition, as indicated by the fact that based on our population, we are in 92nd place in the world rankings, while producing the 34th highest export performance”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade declared. He added that the United States has an important role to play with relation to how free and unrestricted the global economy will be in future, because the world’s largest economies are the United States, China and the European Union and trade conflicts, and with a little exaggeration trade wars, have developed or could develop between them.

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted that he had drawn the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s attention to the fact that the freer the global economy, the easier it is for the countries of Central Europe to provide a good performance.

He stressed that members of the U.S. administration respect the performance of the Hungarian economy and regard it as worthy of praise, as clearly also indicated by the fact that American enterprises now form the second largest investor community in Hungary after Germany. “The 1700 American companies present in Hungary provide jobs for 105 thousand people, and the Government has concluded strategic cooperation agreements with 14 major American corporations to date”, Mr. Szijjártó added.

The Minister said that in his opinion there is still hope that instead of global trade wars a period of global trade agreements could arrive in the upcoming months and years. “There is still hope that the current conflicting trade issues may be resolved through negotiation” he stated.

Mr. Szijjártó also drew the attention of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the fact that a possible series of measures affecting the automotive industry could have a negative effect on the performance of Central Europe’s automotive industry, including Hungary’s automotive industry. “Because in Hungary 30 percent of industrial output comes from the automotive industry, and the international capacity of Hungary’s automotive industry is clearly indicated by the fact that 91 percent of the automotive industry products manufactured in Hungary are sold on the world market”, he explained.

“It should also be noted that Hungarian-American trade flow is also increasing dynamically, now exceeding 5.5 billion dollars. Hungarian-American trade flow is expected to increase further this year”, the Minister stated.

Mr. Szijjártó added that Hungarian products are liked and acknowledged on the American market, and accordingly it is in Hungary’s interests for the fewest possible sanctions or restrictive measures to be introduced by the United States or any other major economy in future.

“The European Union is Hungary’s largest export market, and the United States is our largest market outside the EU”, he pointed out. China comes immediately after them. “Any resolving of trade conflicts other than through negotiation would only cause difficulties for Hungary”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade explained.