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“Of the cross-border Hungarian communities, the Hungarians of Transcarpathia are struggling the most tenaciously for survival and the Hungarian Government is supporting this struggle via economic means”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy Levente Magyar declared on Saturday in Tiszapéterfalva during his opening speech at the 3rd Turul Expo.

In his speech, Mr. Magyar stressed: “Over the next few years we will be ‘pumping’ somewhere in the magnitude of ten billion forints into the economy of Transcarpathia in such a way that every single Forint or Hryvnia will be utilised in the most efficient way possible to best serve the creation of jobs and livelihoods”.

The Minister of State announced that the first round of tenders within the framework of the economic support programme for Transcarpathia would be launched within the next few days, which will be providing significant funding, two billion forints (EUR 6.3M) this year, to Hungarian companies and entrepreneurs in Transcarpathia.

“Although the question of how it would be possible to help the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia arose many times during the past decades, this is the largest practical support provided to the region since the ‘Highlands Drive’ named after (Hungarian agriculture expert) Ede Egán over a hundred years ago. It is as a revival and continuation of this programme that the Hungarian Government decided to launch the Economic Development Programme in Transcarpathia”, he pointed out.

“We would like to base the future of Transcarpathian Hungarians on Hungarian entrepreneurs in Transcarpathia who operate within the fields of agriculture, industry and tourism, because it is they who create jobs and added value and it is they who are capable of integrating Transcarpathian Hungarians into their production structures in greater numbers”, Mr. Magyar highlighted.

In his speech, President of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) and Member of Ukrainian Parliament László Brenzovics said events that “capture the imagination of the masses” are the right reaction to the challenges it faces on the part of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia. “Its significance can only really be understood if we take into account the situation in Ukraine, the war, the economic crisis and the political chaos, with relation to which we would expect the Hungarian minority to remain in the shadows and not express its will. In contrast, as also indicated by the expo and trade fair here in Tiszapéterfalva, the Hungarians of Transcarpathia have set themselves a major goal; to remain and achieve progress in the land of their birth”, the politician stressed.

Mr. Brenzovics indicated that entrepreneurs would be informed about the economic development funding and the conditions of the loan tender during the coming weeks within the framework of an awareness-raising tour of the region.

In reply to a question from Hungarian news agency MTI, Mr. Magyar said that the realisation of the model project within the framework of which a fruit and vegetable processing plant is being established in Huszt, near Visk, with an investment of 1.5 billion forints (EUR 4.75M), was in an advanced state. “The project has a dual goal; firstly to provide jobs for several thousand Transcarpathian families who are involved in cultivating fruits and vegetables, and secondly to contribute to the region’s once highly-developed tradition of apple production”, he explained.

82 exhibitors from 5 countries are taking part in the two-day Turul Expo, within the framework of which several business forums and lectures are also taking place.

Source: Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI

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