“In recent years, Hungary and Slovakia have achieved a host of results within the field of bilateral relations”, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar said following the fourth session of the Hungary-Slovakia Joint Economic Committee in Komárom on Thursday.

The Minister of State added that links have not been fully established yet within the fields of transport and energy. “With regard to energy, primarily the connection of the two countries’ electricity networks remains to be realised, but things are also moving forward well with relation to this issue. Preparation work is underway, as a result of which not just natural gas infrastructure links, but the linking of the two countries electricity networks will also be fully established”, he explained.

On the subject of transport links, he highlighted the fact that a new road bridge capable of handling large volumes of traffic is being constructed between the two countries at Komárom, in addition to which the M15 motorway is also being expanded, which when complete will enable continuous travel by motorway between Bratislava and Budapest. “The M30 motorway will also soon be extended to reach the border, and the required resources are already available. This means that it will also be possible to travel from Budapest to Košice directly by motorway”, he said.

The State Secretary also mentioned that bilateral trade, which is extremely high, is already being realised to a level of 35-40 percent by the two countries’ SMEs, and the parties would like this ratio to increase further.

According to Mr. Magyar, the high level of Hungarian-Slovakian trade is the result of the fact that major, multinational companies are operating in both countries, and realise a significant amount of trade with each other.

“We would like as many Hungarian and Slovakian small and medium-sized enterprises to take part in bilateral trade in their own right, which is expected to break a new record again this year”, he stressed, adding that Slovakia is maintaining its traditional position as Hungary’s third most important trade partner, overtaken by only Germany and Austria in 2017.

“We would like to maintain this tendency, and accordingly we are thinking about possible mechanisms to promote cross-border activities on the part of SMEs. Both loans and non-returnable funding are available for this purpose on the Hungarian side. We are also awaiting the proposals of company directors”, the Minister of State said.