Orbán: “Investor-friendly” Hungary awaits Arab interests

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke before about 250 Hungarian and Arab businessmen, politicians, diplomats and chamber of commerce officials at the Second Hungarian-Arab Economic Forum in Riyadh on Sunday.

Orbán listed among Hungary’s advantages its geographical location, advanced logistic network, flexible labor code, motorways, and “a workforce that is surprisingly cheap compared to its quality.” Promised the PM: “An investor-friendly government awaits you” in Hungary.

Orbán confirmed that, if his government is reelected, Hungary “could become Europe’s most industrialized nation,” with industrial production contributing the highest percentage of GDP.

The prime minister said Hungary had wasted valuable years in building relations with the Arab world since the fall of communism in 1989 but now strives for long-term partnership extending over several generations, going on to mention the energy, water management, telecommunication, IT and health sectors as areas in which Saudi-Hungarian cooperative efforts “could make swift progress.”

Finally, Orbán stated the number of Saudi students studying in higher education in Hungary is expected to grow to a whopping 1,500 in the coming academic year, way up from the 250 enrolled for 2013-14.

Foreign Trade State Secretary Péter Szijjártó chipped in with government statistics showing the value of trade between Hungary and the Arab world is currently over $2.5 billion.

On his part, Deputy Prime Minister Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz said his country aims to exploit the opportunities offered by Hungarian-Saudi economic cooperation.

Orbán is scheduled to hold talks with members of the Saudi Arabian government today, as well as with the secretary-general of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. The PM is accompanied on the official visit by National Economy Minister Mihály Varga, Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog and over 100 Hungarian business leaders.

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