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Govʼt to launch HUF 25 bln program to support cross-border investments

The government will launch a HUF 25 billion program from Friday to support Hungarian companies investing in neighboring countries, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

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Hungarian companies making investments in neighboring countries can be eligible to combined funding capped at the equivalent of EUR 800,000 under the EUʼs Temporary Framework if they save jobs in Hungary or over the borders, the minister said.

The grants can cover up to 60% of investment costs, he added.

Szijjártó confirmed that cross-border economic development programs will continue next year, with grants offered to Hungarian companies in regions of neighboring countries with ethnic Hungarian populations such as Vojvodina, Transcarpathia, and Transsylvania.

He noted that during the Slovakian prime ministerʼs recent visit to Hungary they agreed to soon work out in written form the terms of continuing the economic development program in southern Slovakia. He also expressed hope that agreement will be reached on continuing the Transcarpathian program at the meeting of the Ukrainian-Hungarian mixed economic committee in Kiev on Thursday next week.

The minister noted that the government allocated grants worth more than HUF 129 bln to more than 55,000 Hungarian companies in neighboring countries over the past four years from Hungaryʼs national resources, supporting investments worth HUF 236 bln.

These investments strengthen cross-border Hungarian communities as well the economy of the given country, contributing to the success of bilateral relations, Szijjártó said.

"It is a key task of the Hungarian government to support cross-border Hungarian communities," he noted. "The aim is to build a relationship with neighboring countries so that the Hungarian communities across the border do not become sources of conflict, but become resources. Shared success stories can provide a basis for opening and closing sensitive issues with the hope of success."