The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Parliamentary State Secretary held talks with Japanese companies planning a total of hundreds of billions of forints in investments in Hungary, during an official visit to japan.

“We are talking about several companies operating within the automotive industry and the renewable energy industry, and they have launched official negotiations on why and under what conditions they would like to come to Hungary”, Levente Magyar said in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday.

The State Secretary pointed out that Hungarian-Japanese relations are becoming increasingly intensive, and there are already over 160 Japanese enterprises operating in Hungary, providing jobs to tens of thousands of people. “Japanese enterprises mean an outstanding level of added value to the Hungarian economy, and particularly in sectors of industry that are most affected by the transformation called the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). Japan is the home of technological development, and the companies investing here are also introducing these technologies in Hungary”, he highlighted. The state of Hungarian food exports was an important topic of the negotiations in Japan.

Mr. Magyar recalled that the sector has suffered a lot in recent years, and especially as a result of swine fever and avian flu. “Japan is the largest market for Hungarian food industry products in Asia. Hungary would also like to improve its relations within this field and to expand cooperation, and accordingly we are in negotiation with Japanese food users, such as restaurant chains, which could purchase major quantities, concerning the import of Hungarian ingredients. This would be a significant help for Hungarian producers and the domestic processing industry”, he explained.

The State Secretary also spoke about the fact that an office of the Hungarian Export Development Agency (HEPA) was opened in Tokyo on Monday, explaining that in his view the branch office could be an important centre for a broad range of foreign trade relations, and could primarily provide a perspective for the food industry in Japan in view of the fact that smaller enterprises such as Hungarian food processing companies require intermediation. Mr. Magyar added that one of the reasons for the visit is that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Hungary and Japan, within the spirit of which, amongst others, highly successful cultural events, concerts, exhibitions and presentations are being organised in both capital cities.