Budapest, June 9 (MTI) – Hungary is an “open and friendly” country which does not hinder investment, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in his address to the general assembly meeting of the Union of Arab Banks held in Budapest on Tuesday.

Foreign investors creating jobs in Hungary “are our friends”, the prime minister said.

Orban noted Hungary’s “culture of respect” and said that people from the Islamic world are considered as representatives of a highly developed civilization from whom “we are not shy to learn”. Political and economic cooperation with the Arab world could be key to Hungary’s success, he added.

On another subject, Orban said that Hungary’s adopting the euro was “not on the agenda”.

“What we see is that countries in Europe that have not joined the euro are more successful”, Orban said, adding that Hungary was committed to preserving its stability “through (retaining) its own currency”.

Among opportunities Hungary could offer to Arab investors Orban mentioned property development, tourism, health, water management, the energy sector, as well as farming and food processing.

At the opening of the assembly session, foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said the Arab world has a “distinguished role” in Hungary’s foreign policy.

Szijjarto noted that after the closure of a Nokia plant in 2013 Hungarian exports to Arab countries had shrunk drastically. Such recession could be avoided through reducing Hungary’s dependency on multi-national firms and promoting direct links between Hungarian and Arab firms, he insisted.

Beirut-based UAB was founded in 1974. The general assembly session in Budapest was attended by some 200 senior bankers from Arab countries.

Photo: MTI


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