Marton Nagy - Photo:

National economy minister holds talks in Slovakia

Marton Nagy, the national economy minister, held talks in Slovakia on Thursday with several members of the Slovak government, and he expressed his sympathies and well wishes in connection with the assassination attempt against Prime Minister Robert Fico, his ministry said.

Slovakia was Hungary’s second most important trading partner in 2023, and Slovak FDI in Hungary came to more than 200 million euros in 2022, the national economy ministry said in a statement. Slovakia is the eighth most important investment destination for Hungarian businesses, with investments in the country exceeding 1.5 billion euros. Hungarian exports to Slovakia have risen by 93 percent and bilateral trade turnover is up 127 percent since 2010, it added.

At his talks with Erik Tomas, Slovakia’s minister for labour, family and social affairs, Nagy said the Hungarian government aims to increase the labour activity rate in the 20-64 age group from the current 81 percent to 85 percent by mobilising the domestic labour market reserves of around 300,000 people.

Nagy also outlined Hungary’s law on guest workers and the related legislative environment, emphasising that in Hungary the Hungarian workforce came first.

At his talks with Denisa Sakova, the deputy prime minister, and Richard Rasi, the minister of investment, regional development and informatisation, Nagy underlined the importance of continued FDI inflows.

He said foreign and domestic businesses and sectors should be better connected to address the problem of dual economies and strengthen economic growth. One way of achieving this, he said, was to improve the export capacities of small and medium-sized companies and strengthen their role in supply chains.

Meanwhile, Nagy said electric vehicles were the future of Europe and so the European Union should introduce an incentive scheme for car purchases aimed at both manufacturers and customers. He also advocated providing support for the trade of used electric cars by developing new standards. A draft of the action plan will be presented to EU member states as a white paper at the meeting of the Competitiveness Council on July 8-9 under the Hungarian EU presidency, the statement said.

At his talks with Ladislav Kamenicky, the finance minister, Nagy urged fiscal discipline across the whole of Europe, which he said was necessary for harmonising support for fiscal balance and economic growth in the interest boosting competitiveness Europe-wide.

On the topic of taxes on excess corporate profits, Nagy said these taxes had fulfilled their role by helping to protect families and businesses. He added that there was “sense” in discussing how long such taxes should remain in effect.

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