Gergely Gulyas – Photo: MTI

Gulyas: Hungary-Germany economic cooperation important in difficult times

Economic cooperation between Hungary and Germany is fostering the country's development "even in difficult times", Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, told the annual assembly of the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The government sees the economic players of both countries as partners, he added.

German companies employ 300,000 workers in Hungary, mainly in industry, Gulyas said at the event held on Thursday in Budapest. The presence of their top companies in Hungary “proves that ties are particularly strong”, he said, adding that Hungary provides a “competitive and predictable economic environment” for their investments.

Gulyas said “political attacks” could not weaken bilateral state ties, adding that Hungary, alongside its neighboring countries, was “exceptionally important” for the German economy.

Europe as a whole has been put at a disadvantage globally, he said, with companies weighed down by exorbitant energy prices, while the bloc “seems incapable of promoting its own interests”.

Companies in Hungary face a difficult year, Gulyas said, though with the easing of “strict measures” now in place, their prospects were likely to improve next year.

He said it was also likely that a deal would be reached with Brussels on Hungary’s EU funding, since this was also in the interest of Western companies. Gulyas added that Europe’s economy suffered when EU leaders tried to push through decisions that lacked a legal basis affecting member states. He said Hungary’s finances were secure regardless of EU subsidies, though the current economic environment was “more of a challenge”.

Securing investment funds was hard throughout Europe thanks to high interest rates, he said, but Hungary was likely to find this easier by 2024, with inflation expected to drop to single figures by year-end.

Achim Weinstock, the chamber’s vice president, pledged his organisation’s full assistance to its business members for their successful operation as well as its cooperation with the Hungarian government. “There may be differences of opinion,” he said, adding that at the same time negotiations could not be avoided.

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