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Hungary to boost exports to the East but won't weaken forint

Hungary wants to boost exports to Russia, Asia and Africa to help the economy return to growth but not at the cost of weakening the forint, a top official in the prime minister's office told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview on Tuesday. “A weaker forint has great risks, for instance to those indebted in foreign currency, or importers, or local governments,” said Péter Szijjártó, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations in the prime minister's office. Szijjártó said the government will look east to improve trade instead of trying to boost exports using currency levels, adding that such a move will allow Hungary to “stand on both feet.” Hungary is seeking “significant growth” in exports compared from the level of 77.2% of economic output in 2011, he added.