The European Union is in great need of eastern investments and eastward trade. If the community puts obstacles in their way, it will lose even more of its global economic weight, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stated on Friday in Brussels.
According to the ministry’s announcement at the press conference following the EU-India-Pacific Ministerial Forum, the head of the ministry emphasized that in recent years a completely new reality has emerged in the world order, a new era has begun following the crises, in which the center of gravity of the world economy has shifted from the west to the east.
He underlined: this is also shown by the fact that,
while previously 70-80 percent of global investments were financed by Western capital, and the remaining 20-30 percent by Eastern capital, this ratio has now reversed.
He also touched on the fact that Eastern and Western companies are now more closely dependent on each other than ever before. “Of course, some describe this as a negative phenomenon. I think it is a positive phenomenon,” he said. “It is very important that in this new period, in this new era, Europe finds the right answer, because if it gives the wrong answer to this new reality, it can cause itself much more serious problems economically than the current one,” he added.
Péter Szijjártó. Photo: MTI / Máthé Zoltán
Péter Szijjártó stated that today Europe is in great need of investments from the East, as well as trade to the East, especially considering that without Asian suppliers, the electric transition would not be possible in the automotive industry, which is a key sector.
If Europe barricades itself from Eastern investments and puts obstacles in the way of Eastern trade, then the European Union will lose even more of its economic weight,”
he warned, recalling that China has now overtaken the continent in the ranking of gross domestic product (GDP).
He confirmed that the government wants to take steps in the direction of connectivity and connections during this year’s Hungarian EU presidency, therefore they want to speed up the free trade negotiations with the Southeast Asian states, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
While we, here in Europe, were busy with our own grievances and our own outdated, ideologically forced debates, the largest free trade area in the world was created in the Southeast Asian region,”
According to his information, the countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) account for about 29 percent of the global GDP. “Therefore, it would be in the interest of the European Union to develop the closest possible cooperation with this free trade zone,” he said.
The minister praised the success of the policy of opening up to the East, pointing out that if the government had yielded to the “exercise of pressure and attempts at dissuasion”, then Hungary would have missed out on a huge opportunity for growth, as in recent years most investments in Hungary have come from China and South Korea respectively.
He informed that in the last ten years, the trade turnover between Hungary and Southeast Asian countries has increased by about 75 percent, and the investments coming from the region help the domestic economy change its dimensions and guarantee the maintenance of the growth path.
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