Hungarian foreign trade closed a record year in 2016

Hungarian foreign trade closed a record year in 2016 in every respect, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed at his press conference held in Budapest in response to last year’s foreign trade data for January to November released by the Central Statistical Office.

The Minister highlighted: foreign trade plays an important part in the strengthening of Hungary, and the performance of foreign trade underlines the growth of the Hungarian economy to an extent greater than ever before.

Mr Szijjártó reiterated that exports were 2.7 per cent higher in the first eleven months of 2016 than in 2015 when the highest exports of all time were recorded.

He highlighted: the surplus of foreign trade, too, broke a record in 2016 as up to the end of November, the surplus was EUR 1.5 billion higher than in 2015 when then the highest foreign trade surplus was registered in the history of the Hungarian economy.

He added: in the first eleven months of 2016, there was a EUR 9.5 billion foreign trade surplus, meaning that exports exceeded imports by this sum during the course of the country’s foreign trade, the Minister said.

Mr Szijjártó also said that large international corporations constitute the backbone of Hungarian foreign trade which employ Hungarian workers and use the products and services of Hungarian small and medium-sized businesses as suppliers.

As he said: „The more exports we are able to realise in Hungary, the more Hungarian people will have jobs, and the more Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to join the supply chains of these large international corporations.”

Mr Szijjártó said that, based on the final data, a record number of investment projects, some 71 were closed successfully via the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency during the course of 2016. This is the highest number of all time, and it is a further record that these investors brought investments worth EUR 3.25 billion to Hungary, by virtue of which 17,647 new jobs came into being in the country.

The Minister pointed out: the international competition fought for investments and export opportunities is becoming increasingly keener, and we shall have to work hard to retain the positions we have earned.

This is facilitated by the fact that new tax regulations entered into force in Hungary as of the first of January which, for instance, promote work force mobility, and the corporation tax is now the lowest in the region. Additional investment incentives have been introduced which also promote technology development, and further boost the financing of exports in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises, Mr Szijjártó told the press.

In answer to a question, he said: following the announcement of the reduction of the corporation tax, three major negotiations regarding projects to be implemented in Hungary were successfully closed after lengthy talks, and these will be announced shortly. Two of these will create more than one thousand jobs each, while the third one will create some one thousand additional jobs in Hungary. These investments will come from the automotive industry, the electronics industry and the services sector.