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Major joint flagship projects are needed

Referring back to the earlier condition of the Hungarian economy, the Prime Minister told his audience that after 2010 Hungary was able to find its feet because “the whole country understood […] that this was the last chance”. Although he “would not claim it is racing at full speed”, the Hungarian economy is now on a successful course of growth by European standards, he said.

At the same time Mr. Orbán expressed the hope that Egyptian capital will find its way to Hungary. Therefore, on behalf of the relevant Hungarian institutions, he offered “positive discrimination” to Egyptian businesses intending to invest in Hungary.

In his view, major joint flagship projects are needed. If the first such major programme is successfully completed, “smaller boats following the flagship” may also venture forth, he said. He referred to a document signed on Wednesday regarding a financing offer for the production of 700 railway carriages for Egyptian state railways, calling the project an important milestone.

“It is a pleasure to see that we are now a country which – when it intends to implement something somewhere – is able to do so from its own financial resources, its own funds. This was not always the case […] from time to time we were forced to beg for outside funds, rather than managing our own”, Mr. Orbán said. Regarding Hungarian-Egyptian economic cooperation, the Prime Minister also drew attention to the fact that economic opportunities in Egypt are almost unlimited. He therefore asked the entrepreneurs attending the forum to join the modernisation programmes currently taking place in Egypt, as by doing so, in addition to making a fair profit, they may also contribute to the country’s stabilisation.

In his morning press statement Mr. Orbán said that the whole of Europe, including Hungary, has a vested interest in the economic advancement of Egypt, adding that “it is frightening even to consider” what would happen if Egypt’s leadership failed to stabilise the political and economic situation. “The collapse of Syria alone has placed Europe under pressure that we can hardly bear. Just imagine the same thing happening to a country of 90 million”, he said, adding that “we need your success like a starving man needs food”.

“We do not believe that the European political system is one which should be introduced all over the world”, he said. “And we likewise do not believe that political systems originating outside Europe should be introduced to Europe”, he added, saying that everyone must be allowed to peacefully and successfully organise their own lives in accordance with their own civilisation and culture.

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi also spoke at the event, expressing his hope that the business forum will create an opportunity for strengthening Egyptian-Hungarian economic relations. He said that his country has implemented many measures to attract investment, and further major projects are planned, such as the construction of ports and airports, as well as gas and oil field developments.

The President said that “Egypt should be in the top 30 in the world in the field of economic growth”. He said he would also like his country to reach economic growth of 6 per cent rate in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Mr. Orbán met religious leaders on Thursday, the closing day of his official visit to Egypt.