Hungary’s foreign policy is focused on promoting the country’s economic interests, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a meeting of Hungarian ambassadors. The aim is to draw as many investments into the country as possible in the forthcoming period, he said.
Hungary’s economy-focused foreign policy has given the country a singular competitive edge, Szijjártó said in his speech streamed live on Facebook. When it comes to “the global competition to re-distribute capacities”, Hungary can rely on a “pan-global network”, he added.
Large corporations scaled back production during the pandemic, Szijjártó noted, adding that some were likely to restructure and rationalise their operations after the crisis. He said this presented “a huge opportunity” for Hungary, which, he added, would strive to convince such companies to relocate operations here.
Szijjártó called Hungary’s foreign policy “balanced and patriotic”.
Its aim, he added, was to draw tech investments into the country from the East, not only the West. Whereas Hungary is a loyal ally of the European Union and NATO, its foreign policy “will not be limited to a narrow field”, he said.
Szijjártó called on the diplomatic corps to continue to stand up forcefully for the interests of Hungary and Hungarians. Diplomacy in international bodies should be informed by the country’s interests, he said, adding that any decisions at odds with those interests should be vetoed.
Szijjártó thanked Hungary’s diplomatic corps for their “superhuman” work to contain the coronavirus epidemic in the country. Ensuring Hungary had the equipment to overcome the crisis caused by the first wave of the epidemic was “no small feat”, Szijjártó said.
He thanked the ambassadors for their help in transporting Hungarians stranded abroad during the pandemic. The “largest repatriation movement of Hungary’s history” was organised by Hungary in cooperation with other EU countries, he said.
The government expects the same performance in the future, Szijjártó said. Measures to protect the economy follow on from protection efforts in health care, putting a different kind of pressure on diplomats, he said. That is why embassies were required to work throughout the pandemic, he said, adding that their “special responsibility” meant diplomatic employees should “work in bad times as well as good”.