Budapest, September 30 (MTI) – A growing number of signs from western Europe indicate that Hungary is on the right track in its handling of the migrant crisis, foreign ministry state secretary Laszlo Szabo said at a business forum in Budapest on Wednesday.
Speaking in front of representatives of fully and partially foreign-owned companies doing business in Hungary, Szabo said that as the migrant issue slowly develops from a “distant, blurry humanitarian issue” into a concrete “tangible” problem in western Europe, opinions on Hungary’s response to the crisis are also changing.
He noted that on Monday the German government decided to speed up the registration of migrants, adding that Hungary “is most likely” on the right track, since Germany and Austria are carrying out the same series of measures that Hungary carried out 2-3 months ago.
Szabo said that over the past year, Hungary successfully laid the foundations of its new foreign policy and is now more successful in enforcing its interests in foreign trade. He said that Hungary has signed bilateral agreements and posted trade attaches in every Asian and Latin American country it wanted to expand to.
The state secretary said Hungary’s economic indicators offer further proof that the country is headed in the right direction. The main aim is still to increase exports and to expand the number of competitive small and medium-sized companies capable of doing business abroad, he added. He said Hungary also aims to increase its value added, attract investors that can create jobs here and boost R&D. He said potential economic challenges apart from the migrant crisis include the slowdown in China and the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
On the topic of energy security, he said Hungary’s energy supply is still in need of diversification and dependence on Russian energy needs to be reduced. He reiterated the need to build the LNG gas terminal in Croatia along with other north-south interconnectors facilitating reverse flows in the region.