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Briefing notes

PM Orbán: Hungarian-American cooperation is a success story

Prime Minister Viktor Orban welcomed Eric Stewart, president of the US-Hungarian Business Council (USHBC) at the Carmelite Monastery in Hungary last week.

“US-Hungary cooperation is a success story,” in terms of business, defense, and also – especially since President Donald Trump entered office – in political terms, PM Orbán said following his meeting with a delegation from the US-Hungary Business Council last week.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Mihaly Varga, Minister of Finance, met with Eric Stewart, president of the US-Hungary Business Council, or USHBC, an organization of 30 major US companies with investments of at least USD 1 billion in Hungary, in the Carmelite Monastery. This was the fourth visit arranged by USHBC bringing prominent American business leaders to Hungary.

Praising the significance of US-Hungary ties, the Prime Minister noted that the United States is the biggest, non-European investor in the country: some 1,700 US companies employ more than 106,000 Hungarians.

In an interview with Hungarian news portal Origo, Stewart said that these 30 US companies have come to deliver the message that Hungary is on the right track, especially with regards to IT, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors. According to the USHBC president, cooperation in military and energy industries still have huge potential as well.

When asked what makes Hungary so attractive to US investors, Stewart said that while Budapest serves as a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe, Hungary’s low corporate taxes and highly-skilled, innovative workforce act as powerful pull factors. The Hungarian government, he added, provides beneficial investment opportunities through the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA).

According to Stewart, the Hungarian-American relationship is constantly evolving and more and more American companies are attracted to the area. In 2017, eight companies, and in 2019, thirteen firms decided to invest in Hungary. “It indicates that Hungary is performing very well and domestic companies are also successful,” he said.

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