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The Hungarian government is one of the most stable in Europe

The Prime Minister said that Turkey also has a stable governmental system, and a leader with a strong mandate. He therefore hopes that economic cooperation between two stable governments will lead to great success.

The Prime Minister also stressed that for the Hungarian economy competitiveness is crucial, and while Hungary can now be seen as a competitive country, “we are not at all satisfied with the current state of affairs”. The Hungarian economy’s competitiveness must be improved drastically, he said; therefore soon – perhaps this week – the Government will adopt an action plan designed to boost competitiveness.

Photo: Károly Árvai

Mr. Orbán went on to say that in the Western world the language of politics, and political conflict itself, has become harsher – and at times outright brutal. He referred to new technologies which have emerged in the contest for power as “social media and the phenomenon of the world of fake news, which now also affects governments”.

He noted that a considerable proportion of the European middle classes have been unable to make progress over the past twenty years and, to make matters worse, large masses of people not subject to any form of screening are moving towards the continent’s borders.

He added that, after earlier prevailing ideals and the era of global governance, one can also see attempts being made to return to governance within national boundaries. In his view, in the Western world proof of this can be seen in Brexit and the election of US president Donald Trump.

The Prime Minister said that in the Western world today the underlying feeling is one of uncertainty, which confronts players in European political and economic life with a challenge: in Europe everyone wants security and predictability, and every leader is seeking ways in which to provide security and predictable futures for their own people.

In 2010, the Prime Minister said, the Hungarian government decided to create this by building a specifically Hungarian model, based on job creation, tax reductions and pay rises. He noted that Hungarian economic growth is stable, full employment is within reach, and tax reductions will continue next year.

Regarding Hungarian-Turkish economic cooperation, he said that in Hungary more than one thousand people work for Turkish businesses, negotiations concerning eight major Turkish projects are under way, and that as a result of these it can be hoped that investment of some half a billion dollars will be realised.

In closing, Mr. Orbán said that every year Hungary offers state-funded scholarships to 150 young Turkish people.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó also addressed the forum. He said that members of the Hungarian and Turkish business communities were able to welcome one another as old acquaintances, given that Hungary’s number one trade partner in the region is Turkey, with which last year “we managed to achieve our highest trade volume ever”.

This dynamic growth is continuing, the Minister added, citing as proof the fact that in the first seven months of this year the volume of trade between the two countries increased by 19 per cent.

Photo: Károly Árvai

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted that in Hungary high added-value Turkish companies can find what they are seeking and opportunities for cooperation.

He concluded by saying that good economic relations need balanced political cooperation based on the foundations of mutual respect. He told his audience of Hungarian and Turkish business actors that, in the case of their two countries, this already exists