Szijjártó again prescribes Easterly exports

Int’l Relations

Foreign Trade Secretary Péter Szijjártó riffed on familiar theme of his government at a roundtable discussion at the Tranzit Youth Festival in Kőszeg yesterday, stating once again that “To boost its exports, Hungary must reduce the country’s exposure to European Union markets and turn to fast-growing countries in the East.” 

Citing statistics saying that 75% of Hungarian exports go to EU markets and 82% of said exports originate in foreign-owned companies, Szijjártó described Hungarian SMEs as having “only limited access to markets in fast-growing China, India and the Arab world.” Szijjártó promised that the government is currently redesigning the system of diplomatic and trade missions to facilitate an eastward shift.

Also taking part in the roundtable was National Assembly Deputy Speaker/MSzP Deputy Chairman István Újhelyi of opposition party MSzP, who openly wondered about any “ideological gloss” that economic relations with countries such as China, India and Russia may carry – a concept the previous government recognized, he added. 

Szijjártó replied in turn that a more business-centric strategy is needed for expansion into such countries, with Hungarian businesses approaching Chinese or Indian markets not as a whole but rather on enterprise-, city- or provincial levels.

In July, Szijjártó expounded upon the government’s goal to increase export volumes to eastern markets including, among others, China and Russia by at least 50% to reach €110 billion by 2020. By 2018, one-third of all Hungarian exports are hoped to be going to non-EU nations. 


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