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Hungary's trade surplus with EU evidence of improving competitiveness

Hungary's trade surplus with the EU is a sure sign that the country's competitiveness is improving, András Inotai, of economic think-tank VGK, told a conference organized by the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) on Tuesday.

Hungary ran a trade surplus with the new EU members in January-September, a fact which few analysts would have anticipated when Hungary joined the EU in 2004, Inotai said. Hungary had a €720 million trade surplus with the other new EU members in January-September this year against a small €17 million deficit a year earlier, figures of Hungary's Central Statistical Office (KSH) show.

Inotai warned that the EU would lose its decisive role in the world economy in 10-15 years if it failed to speed up the deregulation of the services market. Services account for about 70% of the EU's GDP, and companies shoulder an annual €350 billion in additional costs because the market has not been sufficiently deregulated, he said. Some EU members still show strong economic patriotism, hindering business for multinationals and causing growth to slow, Inotai said. (Mti-Eco)