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German EcoMin urges reforms to speed up growth, improve competitiveness

German companies are satisfied with their investments in Hungary, but reforms are needed to speed up growth and improve competitiveness, German Economy Minister Michael Glos said during an official visit to Budapest on Thursday.

Glos also pressed for more transparent and faster public procurement procedures. Hungary’s new Economy and Development Minister Gordon Bajnai agreed with Glos on the need for reforms. Bajnai said the two had discussed Hungary’s lobbying to be picked as the site for the European Technology Institute, if Brussels decides to put the institute in a new member state. Glos said Germany supports the deregulation of cross-border trade of electricity. Linking Europe’s power networks as well as using alternative energy sources is essential to decrease the region’s energy dependency, he said.

Hungary’s exports to Germany rose 15% to €18.1 billion in 2007 and imports from Germany climbed 8% to €17.3 billion, Economy Ministry figures show. According to the Hungarian-German Chamber of Trade and Industry, German companies have invested Ft 15 billion in Hungary, accounting for almost one-third of FDI. (MTI-Econews)