Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Foreign Minister Peter Szijjárto held talks with members of the US-Hungary Business Council (USHBC) on Friday, June 24th as Hungary and the United States both look to encourage further foreign investment opportunities in their respective countries. Following the meeting, Foreign Minister Szijjárto hailed the news that the United States recently becames Hungary's second largest investment partner and reaffirmed that Hungarian-American economic cooperation remains stronger than ever.
"The United States has become Hungary's most important export market outside the eu, as well as its second most important trade partner and third largest source of imports," Szijjárto said. "Discussions within the framework of the US-Hungary Business Council concern enterprises that are already present in Hungary, since repeated ivnestment is at least as important as new investments."
Currently, total investment from the United States to Hungary exceeds $9 billion and over 1600 American companies have an operational presence in Hungary. In total, United States companies are responsible for approximately 100,000 Hungarian jobs.
"Hungary is often criticized for an alleged lack of consultation, but cooperation with American enterprises cotradicts these claims; the Business Council has also confirmed that consultations with enterprises occur on a regular basis," Szijjárto continued, addint that many recently implemented tax reforms are the result of American recommendations. These include a doubling of tax relief opportunities for companies that conduct research and development (R&D) inside Hungary.
Chairman of the US-Hungary Business Council, Eric Stewart, told reporters that "Eight American companies have arrived in Budapest to discuss their future investments with the Hungarian government."
The event was initiated and organized by Hungary's Ambassador to the United States Dr. Réka Szemerkényi and attended by US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell and President of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) Róbert Ésik.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)