Hungary gateway for West from eastern perspective, says Orban in Saudi Arabia
(MTI) – Hungary is a gateway for the West from the eastern perspective, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Riyadh on Sunday, recommending the Hungarian economy to Arab investors.
Speaking to about 250 Hungarian and Arab businessmen, politicians, diplomats and chamber of commerce officials in the 2nd Hungarian-Arab Economic Forum, Orban listed among Hungary’s advantages its geographical location, advanced logistic network, flexible labour code, motorways, and “a workforce that is surprisingly cheap compared to its quality”.
An “investor-friendly government awaits you” in Hungary, Orban told Arab investors in the Saudi capital.
Orban confirmed that, if his government is re-elected, Hungary could become Europe’s most industrialised nation, with industrial production contributing the highest percentage of GDP.
The prime minister said Hungary wasted valuable years in building relations with the Arab world after the change of system, but now it strives for long-term partnership extending over several generations.
Orban mentioned the energy sector, water management, telecommunication, the IT industry and the health sector as areas where – as he put it – “we could make swift progress” in cooperation.
Finally, he said the number of Saudi students studying in higher education in Hungary is expected to grow to 1,500 from 250 from September this year.
Peter Szijjarto, state secretary for foreign trade and investment, said the value of trade between Hungary and the Arab world has now exceeded 2.5 billion dollars compared to 800 million dollars in 2003.
Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s second deputy prime minister, said they aim to exploit the opportunities offered by Hungarian-Saudi economic cooperation. He added that they greatly appreciate Hungary’s policy supporting the Arab world.
Orban will hold talks with members of the Saudi Arabian government, as well as with the secretary-general of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
The prime minister is accompanied by Economy Minister Mihaly Varga, Zoltan Balog, the minister for human resources, and Peter Szijjarto, the state secretary for foreign trade and investment, as well as over one hundred Hungarian businesspeople.