Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday discussed boosting economic ties and improving the Hungarian business environment with Eric Holcomb, the Governor of the US state of Indiana.
Hungary-US trade has expanded apace over the past decade, it was noted at the meeting also attended by Hungary’s minister for foreign affairs and trade, Péter Szijjártó, and Indiana’s secretary of commerce, Jim Schellinger.
America is Hungary’s number-one trading partner from beyond the European Union, with more than 1,700 units of US businesses providing 100,000 jobs in the country, the PM’s press chief, Bertalan Havasi, noted in a statement. Major companies from Indiana are also present in Hungary, showing investor trust in the country, he said, highlighting Hungary’s low corporation tax which contributes to the improving business environment.
Szijjártó said that from the point of view of Hungarian foreign trade policy it was of historic significance that the Hungarian government had signed, for the first time, an economic cooperation agreement with an American state. Hungary is the first country in the world to sign such an agreement with the state of Indiana, he added.
Szijjártó and Holcomb on Wednesday signed an economic cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Indiana’s economic development corporation.
After the signing ceremony, the foreign minister said the territory of the US mid-western federal state and Hungary were almost the same size and there were numerous similarities in economic policy endeavours. He said in both places job creation was considered the engine of economic growth, and emphasis was placed on vocational training and low taxes. Further, both are in geographic locations that are advantageous from a logistics point of view, he added.
Szijjártó noted that three large corporations from Indiana are present in Hungary — a pharmaceuticals company and two auto industry concerns employing 800 people altogether.
Minister of Economy Mihály Varga held talks with the governor and the trade minister of the US state Indiana on strengthening economic cooperation, the ministry said on Tuesday.
Speaking after talks with Governor Eric Holcomb and Trade Minister Jim Schellinger, Varga said that last year the United States was Hungary’s 12th biggest trading partner, accounting for 2.8 percent of its total trade turnover. There are over 1,700 US companies in Hungary, employing over 93,000 people, he said.