Beijing, February 12 (MTI) – The aim is for Hungary’s economy to grow by 4 percent in 2016, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Beijing today.

Hungary has become one of the most competitive economies in Europe and a major production centre relying on a major R+D network, Orban told a business forum held in the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) headquarters.

“Those who do business with the Hungarians get in contact with the European Union’s engine of growth,” he said, referring to central Europe.

Orban, who is paying an official visit to China, added that companies that are present on the Hungarian market are present on the 500-million-strong EU market.

Referring to Hungary’s disputes with the EU, he noted that Hungary’s economic policy was often called unorthodox. “We do indeed have an economic policy that contains unorthodox elements but that policy has made the country competitive,” he said.

Among his government’s measures, Orban mentioned the 16 percent personal income tax, the low corporate tax and the labour-based economy. On this score, he highlighted the aim of full employment, saying that the unemployment rate would be pushed down to 3-4 percent, creating a chance for everyone to find a job.

Addressing an audience of 250 to 300 businesspeople, including over 100 Hungarians, Orban said that Hungary is characterised by political stability, which is of key importance nowadays.

Referring to the April 6 general election, he said, “we have a good chance that the Hungarian people will vote for political stability.”

As prospective fields of bilateral economic cooperation, Orban mentioned water and waste management, transport organisation, managing environmental damage, the car industry, engineering services, energy generation, tourism, medical instruments, the pharmaceutical and food industry and farming technologies.

Orban announced that Hungary would increase the number of state-funded scholarships offered to Chinese students by 200 from September on.

Referring to his talks in the Chinese central bank earlier on Wednesday, Orban said that the Bank of China had decided to set up its central European regional centre in Budapest and establish a network of branch offices to provide financial services for Chinese companies active in central Europe.

“Over the past hundred years Hungarians were regularly mocked in Europe for their Asian origins. Now we are smiling at this   as the focus of the world economy is being shifted from the West to the East,” the prime minister said.

Later on Wednesday, Orban is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, with several bilateral agreements to be signed in their presence.

Photo: MTI


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