PM: Hungary offers safe, predictable business environment

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Hungary's business environment is certain and predictable, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Hungarian public media in Milan on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting, Hungarian news agency MTI reported yesterday.

Orbán said that participants had referred to the two continents as a unit. Their economies should be integrated through infrastructure development, free trade agreements, and mutual investment. Linking the economies is more important than trying to take over country-specific crisis-management models, he insisted.

To that end, Orbán said he had held bilateral talks with leaders of Singapore, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan, on export and investment opportunities. He noted that such opportunities were also in the focus of the Milan summit.

Orbán said that he had discussed four major investment projects with representatives of Singapore, to be implemented in Hungary, adding that Asia's interest in building production plants in Hungary shows that the Hungarian economy, "slowly but surely", is becoming competitive even when compared to production in Asia.

Although "manual jobs such as car assembly are fine and provide a living to hundreds of thousands", in the long run the country must make further investment in sectors built on research and development and producing higher value-added goods, he said. "Such production plants are now moved to Hungary from South Korea, Japan, or Singapore," Orbán said, adding that it was proof of the reliability of Hungarian labour.

At the Milan meeting, Orbán urged as many free trade agreements be made between the EU and Asian countries as possible, arguing that exports will be boosted if "those activities are not penalised by duties".

"If those are eliminated, everyone will benefit; global free trade would definitely serve the benefit of mankind," he said.

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