Foreign Minister Szijjártó: Political stability in Hungary is exceptional and unique
Cooperation between Hungary and Singapore is based on mutual respect and a common belief in the importance of national sovereignty as well as a rejection of outside interference, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said in Singapore on Wednesday.
Singapore is Hungary’s most significant trading partner in the region, a ministry statement citing Szijjártó said, adding that relations “are especially friendly”.
Both countries can be confident that their own citizens “are capable of deciding wisely what kind of future they want for the country”, he said, adding that they want a return to mutual respect in international politics, while they also often cooperate in international organisations.
Just as in Singapore, political stability in Hungary “is exceptional” and also “unique” in the European context, he said, adding that Singaporean businesses’ appreciation of this is reflected by their growing investments in Hungary.
The minister noted that he met the leaders of Singapore’s biggest companies investing in Hungary, all of whom expressed satisfaction with the operating environment, low taxes and skilled workforce, and they planned new investments, especially in the electric car industry.
The automotive industry in Hungary is a crux point for investments from the East and West, with Western electric car manufacturers and Eastern battery producers converging on the country.
Bilateral trade hit USD 1 billion last year, he noted, adding that trade was on the upswing, with a 46 percent increase recorded so far this year.
Hungarian companies have invested USD 350 million in city state, and Singaporean companies employ more than 7,000 people in Hungary, he noted.
At the biggest food industry fair in South-East Asia, a deal was reached on the voluminous export of Hungarian mangalitsa and pigeon meat to Singapore, he said. Singapore, he added, presents a big opportunity for Hungarian agriculture and its food industry.
Last year, the value of Hungarian food exports exceeded USD 6 million, of which meat produce exports amounted to more than USD 1 million.
Also, tourism ties between the two countries are also improving, Szijjártó said, noting a four-fold increase in Singaporean visitors to Hungary so far this year compared with the same period last year.
Meanwhile, he said there is mutual interest in developing space industry cooperation in the production of satellites and their placement in orbit, as well as sharing the data obtained from them, the minister said.