Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Italy becomes Hungary’s sixth largest trade partner

Italy-Hungary trade increased by an annual 32 percent so far this year and it is expected to hit a record high by the end of the year, making Italy Hungary's sixth largest trade partner, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

Szijjarto met Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio and reviewed bilateral relations in Strasbourg on the occasion of Italy taking over from Hungary the presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

Szijjarto said on Facebook that Italian companies had shown loyalty to Hungary during the pandemic, with 28 Italian companies investing 12 billion forints (EUR 33m), creating 3,400 jobs.

“A Hungarian investment project is under way in Italy, where the development of an area purchased by Hungary in the port of Triest is under way, which as soon as it is completed will offer considerable help to Hungarian companies in speeding up export transportation,” he said.

The two countries maintain close military cooperation, with a Hungarian commander and his Italian deputy working together in the coming year at the NATO Kosovo mission, he added.

Europe is “under unprecedented migratory pressure” which is “directly felt by the Italians as well as by us”, he said.

“Even if we think differently about the mandatory settlement quotas, we certainly agree that migrants setting out towards Europe should be stopped as far from us as possible,” he said. “The protection of maritime borders and land borders are equally important, and countries that protect external borders should receive support instead of lectures from Brussels,” he added.

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