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Feb 11, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán in Berlin: Germany-Hungary trade volume broke records every year

At a press conference prior to their meeting yesterday in Berlin, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed a wide range of issues including bilateral trade, the EU budget, Europe’s competitiveness and the EU enlargement policy.

“In July 2018, the Chancellor made a proposal for a positive agenda,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán began his joint press conference with Angela Merkel yesterday in Berlin, “one that includes cooperation in the fields of innovation, digitalization, military industry and research and development.” While these areas will be further discussed during the meeting, he stated, Germany-Hungary trade volume has broken records every year recently.

“[Bilateral trade] will exceed 55 billion euros in 2019,” PM Orbán said.

Commending the state of the Hungarian economy, Angela Merkel said that its rate of development is “very, very positive” thanks to “smart investments” and economic policy. “Having started off from a difficult situation, Hungary doesn’t have to struggle with unemployment any longer; instead it has to find skilled labor to fill available jobs,” the German Chancellor said.

“The Chancellor insists on discussing the questions related to Europe’s competitiveness and industrial policy during the March EU summit,” PM Orbán said expressing his gratitude, as “the most important question of the upcoming year is how Europe will regain its competitiveness.”

On the topic of the next EU budget, PM Orbán said that “while we are looking at the question from different angles, I’m sure we will come to a conclusion that’s acceptable for everyone.” Although, he added, this won’t happen tomorrow; it will take time.

Speaking about EU enlargement via the Western Balkans, Prime Minister Orbán said that while he understands why “everybody is now talking about Macedonia and Albania,” he believes that the key to the region is Serbia. This is why, he added, negotiations with Serbia must be accelerated.