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Viktor Orbán’s press statement following his meeting with Prime Minister of Singapore Li Hsien Loong

Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour for us to be here. I can’t deny that we are here due to the fantastic meeting I had with your Prime Minister in Milan. Our plan then was to continue those discussions a few years down the line. At that meeting I realised that here in Singapore there are a few things that we would be advised to study. There are some similarities between our two countries. This also served as motivation for an official visit. Hungary is a country at a crossroads, and this is also a kind of similarity. Hungary has no major reserves of raw materials and no natural resources, so we achieve what can through our work and intellectual capacities. In essence this is also how Singapore has succeeded in working a miracle: from human resources, human spirit and innovation. And we look on Singapore as a country that did not copy a formula, but developed its own formula. We are a similarly proud country, and we are impressed by the fact that in the modern world it is also possible to achieve success with one’s own formula. Therefore we are encouraged by Singapore’s success story.

There are several areas with more opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries than are currently being exploited. Singapore has a larger capacity for investment than that which it has shown so far in Hungary. You have some fairly large investments in Hungary, and thousands of Hungarian families owe their livelihoods to Singaporean factories and industrial units. We are grateful to you for this, and we encourage companies from Singapore to invest in Hungary in greater numbers. The agreement we signed today has lifted all remaining barriers to investment.

We would also like to participate to a greater extent in the success of Singapore’s economy, and for this reason, Prime Minister, not only have ministers come here to you from Hungary today, but also a business delegation. There are a few areas in which we believe we could become partners. We are strong in the water industry, and we would like to cooperate in agriculture – an area in which we have concluded an agreement here today. We are also strong in the IT sector. Few people are aware of the fact that the database of CERN – the world’s largest such research centre – is in Budapest, as part of a unique development project. And our pharmaceuticals industry is also internationally recognised.

We hold Singapore’s stability in high esteem. It is our firm belief that the future belongs to those countries that in the long term will be both politically and the economically stable. This is also the greatest challenge for us in Europe: how can we provide security and stability while also maintaining competition within Europe’s system of political competition? These are major challenges for all of Europe. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to find out about Singapore’s experiences, and we are grateful to the Prime Minister for having received us. And I would like to express my gratitude in advance to the leaders of the large Singaporean companies, who I will be meeting tomorrow.

I wish Singapore great success in the future!