Stable Hungary benefits Hungarian communities beyond borders, says foreign minister
An economically stable Hungary, which is on a steady growth course, benefits Hungarian communities beyond the borders, too, the foreign minister said in Subotica/Szabadka, in northern Serbia, at an event hosted by the Prosperitati Foundation on Friday.
Péter Szijjártó addressed
the signing of contracts with winning applicants of the foundation’s regional economic development programme supported by the Hungarian government.
A stable and strong Hungary can help strengthen the Serbian economy, too, as the companies supported by the foundation pay taxes in Serbia, he added, and argued that the assisted companies pay their taxes to that country’s budget. Hungary is interested in a “strong, European Serbia” and will support Serbia’s EU integration by all means, he said.
Concerning details of the two-year programme, launched in 2016 in agreement with the Serbian government, Szijjártó said that the scheme was designed to provide an equivalent of 30 billion forints (EUR 96m) in grants and the same amount in subsidised loans to ethnic Hungarian businesses.
Under the programme last year,
over 6,200 family ventures were assisted with a combined 9,9 billion forints, mostly for agriculture, tourism and business development projects.
This year’s component of the programme focuses on large agricultural and industrial projects, using 11.1 billion forints. The completed projects are expected to create some 700 new jobs, Szijjártó said.
The minister spoke highly of bilateral ties and said that cooperation between the two countries has never been this good. He said that the Serbian government enforces minority rights “not only through words” and considers Vojvodina Hungarians as an asset.
The Serbian administration sees the local Hungarian community “as a link not as a division”, he added.