Hungary is an “open and friendly” country which does not put obstacles before investments, PM Viktor Orbán said in his address to the general assembly meeting of the Union of Arab Banks held in Budapest. Political and economic cooperation with the Arab world is of great importance to Hungary’s success, the prime minister told the two hundred bank directors from the Arab world attending the meeting.
According to Viktor Orbán, foreign investors who create jobs in Hungary “are our friends”. Hungary had a “culture of respect” and people from the Islamic world are considered as representatives of a highly developed civilisation from whom “we are not shy to learn”. Among opportunities Hungary could offer to Arab investors Orbán mentioned property development, tourism, health, water management, the energy sector, as well as farming and food processing. Orbán also said that non-euro-zone countries “are more successful”, adding that Hungary was committed to preserving its stability by retaining its own currency.
Addressing the event, foreign minister Péter Szijjártó said the Arab world had a “distinguished role” in Hungary’s foreign policy, but after the closure of a Nokia plant in 2013 exports to Arab countries had shrunk, and to improve this direct links with Arab firms should be promoted. He said, however, that the Arab world still plays a priority role in Hungarian foreign policy, which focuses primarily on foreign trade. Szijjártó also stressed that currently Hungary is number one in Central Europe in terms of its FDI to GDP ratio.
The Union of Arab Banks was founded in 1974, with headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.
via hungarymatters.hu and kormany.hu photo: Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI