Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó in front of the WTO OMC Building in Geneva, Switzerland
Cooperation between East and West should be seen as a huge opportunity, not as a threat or risk, from which both sides can benefit greatly, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Geneva on Thursday – based on information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Speaking at the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the minister highlighted the extraordinary difficulties of the last few years, maintaining that the world economy has been turned upside down twice in a short period of time, first by the COVID pandemic and then by the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
FactThe World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; French: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN) Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations.
In his speech, the Minister emphasized the rapid technological progress and pointed out that the great transformation has seen competition between East and West intensify, but has also become more balanced. He underlined that the current serious geopolitical challenges and the re-politicization of the international economy unfortunately imply a renewed divisioning of the world, which Hungary sees as a serious threat and the worst possible news. Therefore,
he argued for connectivity, for a rational East-West division of labor, which in his view is clearly mutually beneficial.
“It is in the interest of our peoples not to be divided into blocs, not to antagonize each other, but to cooperate in a civilized way between East and West,” the politician stressed. Szijjártó gave the example of Hungary, as it has become an important meeting point for eastern and western investments, which are mainly coming in the most innovative and advanced industry nowadays, the electric automotive industry, determining the future of the world economy.
We Hungarians have a lot to gain from becoming the European center of this new high-tech and innovative industry,”
he continued. He then presented the recent WIPO assessment, which ranks Hungary fifth globally in high-tech production and tenth in exports, while it is only 95th in the world in terms of population. The number of students enrolled in engineering and information and communication technology (ICT) courses has increased by 34 percent in a year, the number of engineers engaged in research and development has doubled, while the number of small and medium-sized enterprises reporting product innovation has risen by 73 percent, he added.
Finally, the minister stressed that as a small landlocked country with no significant energy resources, this is the best path to follow. “If a country sees East-West cooperation as a great opportunity, not a threat or a risk, there is much to be gained,” he said.
Let’s hope that the next period will be about connectivity, not about blocking the world,”
The WIPO General Assembly was held at the premises of WTO OMC.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó (L) and WTO Deputy Director General Xiangchen Zhang (R)
FactThe World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade. It is the world’s largest international economic organization, with 164 member states representing over 98% of global trade and global GDP. Its top decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which is composed of all member states and usually convenes biennially.
Featured image: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter