Szijjártó: Hungary aims for closest possible cooperation with UK

Int’l Relations

Hungary aims to maintain the closest possible cooperation with the United Kingdom after Brexit, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a video on Facebook on Wednesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Szijjártó noted that a trade agreement signed by the European Union and the United Kingdom, which has been observed since January, was expected to enter into force at the beginning of May.

Because of the free trade agreement, the non-tariff barriers between the United Kingdom. and the European Union place extra costs and burdens on both British and EU-based businesses, the minister said, adding that Hungary would do everything it could to ensure that Hungarian companies' interest are enforced in implementing the agreement. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will do all it can to help Hungarian businesses maintain and improve their positions on the U.K. market, he added.

Eximbank has opened a EUR 590 million credit line to finance cooperation between Hungarian and U.K. companies and Hungary is also expected to have access to EU funds of HUF 15 billion from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve for businesses facing difficulties due to Brexit, Mr Szijjarto said. 

The United Kingdom is Hungary's 13th most important trading partner and the sixth-largest investor in the country, with around 900 British companies employing some 55,000 Hungarians, the minister said.

During the pandemic, five of those companies, rather than reduce their capacities, took advantage of the government's investment support scheme and invested over a combined EUR 5.5 bln in Hungary, Szijjártó said.

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