Following the inauguration of the new U.S. leadership, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó sent congratulatory letters to Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, Minister of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Minister of Energy Jennifer Mulhern Granholm.
Szijjártó emphasized that the United States is Hungary’s most important strategic partner and ally alongside the European Union and that bilateral relations have developed outstandingly in recent years. The current exceptionally good relationship offers an opportunity for the two countries to face the challenges posed by COVID-19 and strengthen transatlantic cooperation, which is vital for European security, he added.
According to the Hungarian minister, the 100th anniversary could also give a boost to the bilateral relationship, and the Hungarian Government is still looking forward to cooperation based on shared values, common interests and mutual respect.
In regard to foreign policy, Hungary continues to support the effort to bring lasting peace to the Middle East, to fight anti-Semitism at the international level, and to welcome Washington’s efforts to promote peace and economic prosperity in the EU and Western Balkans.
Szijjártó additionally recalled that Hungary is participating in a number of international military missions, has recently made significant efforts to increase its defense budget, and will allocate 2 percent of GDP toward defense by 2024 at the latest. Major defense equipment investments have already surpassed the 20 percent threshold, and several bilateral agreements are helping Hungary’s military partnership with the United States as well, he added.
The Hungarian minister also indicated that he will work on exploring new areas of economic and business cooperation with the new U.S. Government. Bilateral trade and economic cooperation has shown great progress in recent years. Currently, about 1,700 American companies employ 106,000 people in Hungary. The United States is the largest investor in Hungary outside of Europe and its largest non-European export partner. Bilateral trade grew 2.3 percent in 2019 to USD 5.8 billion.
Bilateral cooperation in the field of energy has also intensified significantly in recent years, including the diversification of energy procurement and the establishment of a U.S. liquefied gas port on the Croatian island of Krk.
The Hungarian Government is committed to the fight against climate change and pays special attention to renewable energy sources, while its nuclear energy strategy is very similar to that of the United States.