New Canadian investments in Hungary are expected within the near future, in addition to which we can count on an increase in bilateral trade, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI by phone on Thursday following his meeting with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in Ottawa.

Mr. Szijjártó said that the meeting was also significant because it had been 13 years since a Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs had been on an official visit to Ottawa and because the two countries established diplomatic relations 50 years ago. With relation to dynamically developing economic and trade relations, it was stated that trade turnover between the two countries had increased eightfold during the 13-year period and Hungarian exports to Canada had increased by 33 percent during the first six months of this year.

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Hungary is the 12th most important destination for Canadian investments; there are currently 3 billion dollars of Canadian investment in Hungary, primarily in the automotive sector and within the fields of life sciences and real estate development. Mr. Szijjártó told MTI that, based on discussions with Canadian business leaders, new Canadian investments in Hungary are expected, mainly with relation to supplying the automotive industry.

The Hungarian Minister informed his Canadian counterpart that the performance of exports has a significant influence on overall performance in Hungary, which has an open economy, and so it is in the country’s interests that both customs and bureaucratic barriers should be decreased to a minimum. “Hungary is a committed supporter of the earliest possible conclusion of talks on a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union”, he declared.

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According to calculations, Hungarian exports could experience a significant increase as a result of the agreement, in view of the fact that EU exports to Canada are projected to increase by as much as 24.3 percent. This could include a significant increase in Hungarian exports, both directly and indirectly, through German and French enterprises, Mr. Szijjártó said.

With relation to the energy policy segment of their discussions, the Minister said that “It is an extremely favourable circumstance for Europe, and within it Central Europe, who are looking to increase their sources of gas, that Canada, the world’s fifth largest producer of natural gas, is working to diversify its exports. We hope that Canadian plans to establish LNG terminals (stations for the transport and receiving of liquefied natural gas) will become a reality.”

“In this case, the establishment of a north-south corridor would mean that Central Europe would acquire a new source of natural gas, which would be a huge step forward within the field of regional energy security”, he said.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird expressed his acknowledgement of the fact that Hungary had transported significant quantities of gas to Ukraine since the breakout of the conflict. According to Mr. Baird, discussions on geopolitical issues were mainly concentrated on the situation in Iraq. Mr. Szijjártó said that Hungary’s objective was the establishment of international collaboration to ensure that the leaders of the Islamic State, which has been working to eradicate the Christian community in Iraq, are put before the International Criminal Court as soon as possible, and Hungary had already called for international cooperation to this effect.

The head of the Hungarian diplomatic corps thanked his partner for the fact that 58 years ago, in 1956, Canada had admitted 40 thousand Hungarians, whose descendants are now recognised good citizens of Canada. At the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Mr. Szijjártó conveyed Hungary’s solidarity with relation to the terrorist attack on Canadian Parliament and expressed his condolences to the family of the attack’s only victim.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)