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AmCham Forum: USA, Hungary Ambassadors Praise Bilateral Relations


Economic relations between Hungary and the United States are strong, however, they could be even more stronger if some obstacles were removed, said Colleen Bell, US Ambassador in Budapest at a forum of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary on Wednesday. The American diplomat mentioned corruption among those “obstacles”, because in her view corruption is still seen as a serious problem in the region of Central Europe. We cooperate with the Hungarian government as well as civil organisations and companies to strengthen economic relations and transparency in the country, she added.

Colleen Bell noted that over the course of the year several joint business events will be held in order to improve relations between Hungarian and American companies and enterprises. “We would like to support the young generation of Hungarian entrepreneurs in particular”, she said. The US Ambassador, who had often criticized the Hungarian government previously, has now praised the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s cabinet for supporting the ongoing European Union – United States free trade agreement negotiations (TTIP). Colleen Bell reminded the audience of Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó’s words, who had said multiple times that TTIP could create even  20-30.000 new jobs in Hungary.

Réka Szemerkényi, Hungary’s Ambassador to Washington DC, told the same forum that economic relations between the two countries have never been so strong as they are today. The Hungarian diplomat pointed out that the world is changing rapidly and the arising challenges have their impact on almost every country, therefore strategic cooperation is of utmost importance. “We need new friends, however, our best friends are those who share similar values”, she said adding that the NATO and transatlantic cooperation will be crucial in 2015 as well. The Hungarian Ambassador said the bilateral relations between the two sides are very good as our “communication” has been improving recently. Hungary and the United States are partners, allies and friends, Szemerkényi insisted.

via MTI and photo: Lajos Soós – MTI