Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Government to protect utility fee cuts, pensions, full employment

Hungary's government will protect the achievements of its utility cut scheme, pensions, and full employment in the face of the economic challenges brought about by the war in Ukraine, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Thursday, at a plant inauguration of Japanese-owned Nissho Hungary.

The company’s new plant in Ujhartyan, near Budapest, will manufacture optical films for electric car production. The government supported the 4 billion forint investment (EUR 10.3m) with a tax cut worth 1.4 billion forints, helping to create 140 jobs, Szijjarto said.

At the inauguration, Szijjarto said the past 15 years had seen the “start of a new era in world economy”. While 80 percent of global investments were financed form Western capital in 2007, Eastern countries now have a 70 percent share of global investments, he said.

Hungary’s policy to open to the East is “not a political or ideological policy but an economic one,” which has proven a “complete success”, he said.

Hungary’s exports to the East have grown by 45 percent and trade with Eastern countries by 48 percent in the past 12 years. Last year, 60 percent of investments arrive to the country from the east, he said.

Hungarian exports to Japan have grown a record 18 percent last year, to 830 million dollars, he said, praising Hungarian-Japanese cooperation.

Meanwhile, bilateral trade has jumped by 20 percent to around 2.5 billion dollars, he said.

The car manufacturing industry is “the backbone of Hungarian economy”, employing 154,000 people and giving some 28 percent of processing industry output, he said. Investments supplying to the sector are key to the economy, he said.

Regarding the supertaxes announced to be levied at banks and large companies earlier this week, Szijjarto said the taxes would not hit production companies. Hungary continues to provide the friendliest investment environment for that sector in Europe, he said.

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