Szijjártó: Austria-Hungary cooperation 'most important'

Int’l Relations

Steady ties between the countries of central Europe, and cooperation between Austria and Hungary in particular, are valuable in a constantly changing world, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary's foreign minister, said in Vienna yesterday.

Austria is Hungary's second most important trading partner, Szijjártó said, noting that bilateral trade last year increased by 11% to total some €6 bln. One crucial joint development project is to begin soon: development of 13 new border crossings – including ten new regional roads and three highways between Burgenland and Hungary — will start soon, Szijjártó noted after meeting his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz. Kurz said that some 450 Austrian companies operate in Hungary and exports to Hungary have created 25,000 jobs in Austria.

The two countries maintain very close economic ties, he added.  Speaking to Hungarian news agency MTI after the meeting, Szijjártó said they discussed the disputed issue of Hungary's new land act. He said he told his colleague that the new legislation has eliminated illegal deals. He said that cooperation with Austria was highly important for Hungary's economy, adding that the Hungarian government has already concluded strategic partnership agreements with four major Austrian-owned businesses. These include Leier Hungaria, the Prinzhorn Group, Schwarzmuller and Agrana. The fifth prospective company is Henkel, he said.

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