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Foreign minister announces joint Hungarian-American fund to support SMEs

“We expect the Columbus Fund will help Hungarian businesses succeed in the US market and boost Hungary’s export performance,” the foreign minister said.

The foreign minister has announced that a Hungarian-American joint financial fund has been established to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the export market.

“The last five years of the Hungarian economy can be called a success story without any exaggeration, as we have achieved outstanding economic growth even by European Union standards, as well as full employment and a continuous reduction of public debt,” said Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Minister Szijjártó added that Hungary has produced successive export records over the past five years and is now among 35 countries to have exported more than 100 billion euros each year.

The minister highlighted that outside of the EU, the United States is Hungary’s number one export market. Notwithstanding Hungary’s great potential there, the US is an extremely tricky market to negotiate, he said. Despite this, Hungary exported USD 3.5 billion worth to the US last year, up an annual 11 percent.

“The potential in helping SMEs that develop high-tech innovations to enter the American market is huge,” the minister said. However, high costs and barriers to local know-how have hindered them.

Therefore, Eximbank has established a HUF 10 billion fund (EUR 30 mln), the Columbus Fund, with 7 billion of its own resources and 3 billion from private sources with a view to providing capital to Hungarian SMEs involved mainly in infocommunications, health technology, and agricultural innovation. 

“We expect the Columbus Fund will help Hungarian businesses succeed in the US market and boost Hungary’s export performance,” the minister said.

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