Disintegration of Schengen system a threat to Hungary foreign trade, says Szijjarto
Budapest, September 24 (MTI) – Potential disintegration of the Schengen system due to migration pressure or a loss of trust in the bloc could endanger the achievements of Hungarian companies abroad, the foreign minister told a business conference on Thursday.
Peter Szijjarto said temporary border closures are causing major problems due to an increase in shipping times for companies employing just-in-time manufacturing. If the Schengen system breaks down completely, lorries will have to queue at borders and multinational companies doing business in Hungary will experience problems, Szijjarto added.
The minister said he was disappointed by the outcome of Wednesday’s emergency summit in Brussels. The EU made no progress in securing its external borders, he added.
The European Commission should have clearly defined the type of help that is needed from each member state in order to help the bloc to protect Greece’s borders, he said.
Szijjarto said the migration wave was here to stay for many more years. He noted that people living on humanitarian aid number 8 million people in Iraq, 12 million in Syria, 2 million in Turkey and over 12 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
While Europe is trying to manage the migrant crisis, economic challenges are left unanswered, denting its global competitiveness, he said.
Europe-Russia economic cooperation in difficulty; one of the “main pillars of Hungary’s eastern opening strategy has taken a hit,” he said. Russian import demand is down and the country’s economic woes have had a negative impact on the Commonwealth of Independent States as well.
The minister said Hungary has to work hard on maintaining export volumes to China and the Arab world. Hungary must also fix the media-generated view that it is anti-Islam, he added.
Szijjarto said the Hungarian National Trading House will open a total of 22 offices in the Carpathian Basin and expand to Japan South Korea, Argentina and Chicago, Illinois to maintain Hungary’s export growth. He said Hungary’s Eximbank will lend a total of 21 billion euros to competitive companies and sectors in 94 countries.