Budapest, October 6, 2016 (MTI) – Economic ties between Hungary and Bavaria are developing well and Bavaria has a major impact on Hungary’s economic performance, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said at the 19th meeting of the Hungarian-Bavarian Intergovernmental Joint Committee in Budapest on Thursday.
A third of Hungary-Germany trade is with Bavaria, which takes a 36 percent share of Hungarian exports to Germany and a produces a third of Germany’s investments in Hungary, Szijjártó noted. The car industry, the backbone of Hungary’s economy, accounts for 72 percent of the latter, he said.
Beate Merk, Minister of European Affairs and Regional Relationships at the Bavarian Prime Minister’s office, said they are looking forward to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit in a few days’ time.
Szijjártó said Germany is Hungary’s most important economic, trade and investment partner. The Hungarian government has three strategic partners from Bavaria: Audi, Siemens and Knorr-Bremse, and each of these companies plays a serious role in Hungary’s economy, he added.
Bavarian investments in Hungary and the involvement of Hungarian companies as suppliers result in state-of-the-art technology being brought to Hungary, enabling it to be among the first to change over to new industrial technologies.
He added that Hungary’s investment and legislative environment also helps Bavarian investments. From January, firms that promote labour mobility and expand their research, development and innovation activities will be eligible for tax allowances, Szijjarto added.
Szijjártó said illegal migration carried a high economic risk for the whole of Europe because Schengen could “tumble” if external borders are not protected. Its survival is in the interest of both Hungary and Germany, he added.
The end of Schengen would result in the loss European economic competitiveness, he said. He underlined Hungary’s position that the first step to resolving the migration crisis was to protect the external borders. Ever since Hungary built a fence on its southern border, the relevant legal regulations have been enacted and the Visegrad countries have provided help. Hungary can now assure Bavaria that illegal migrants will not arrive there from Hungary, the minister said.
Merk said she shared Szijjarto’s views concerning migration in many respects. She added that she, too, believed that Europe’s external borders must be protected and it is necessary to know who is arriving and what they want. When humanitarian help is needed, it must be given, she said. But people arriving in Germany for economic reasons should not be allowed to stay and they should be led back to their homes, she said.
Had the Balkan route not been closed, Germany would be in the same position now as it was a year ago, she added. It is necessary to state that countries do not have an unlimited capacity to integrate and receive migrants, she said.