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May 07, 2019

FM: The concept of a Eurasian free trade area is in the interests of Hungary and Europe

Péter Szijjártó said it was “clearly in Europe’s interest” to develop close cooperation with the most important global economic players

The foreign minister has said that revisiting the concept of a Eurasian free trade area is in the interests of Hungary and Europe as a whole.

Following a meeting focusing on trade, energy affairs and security issues attended by the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group, the Eastern Partnership countries and Romania, Péter Szijjártó said it was “clearly in Europe’s interest” to develop close cooperation with the most important global economic players, adding this meant that the continent should revisit the idea of establishing a Eurasian free trade area which would also serve Hungary’s economic interests.

The minister revealed that Hungary has annual trade turnover of 1,300 billion HUF (4bn EUR) with the six countries of the Eastern Partnership, adding that the fewer bureaucratic obstacles they faced the better.

Minister Szijjártó said the concept of a European free trade area had emerged years ago, adding that “with China’s Belt and Road initiative setting the pace of changes in the global economy” it was time for the idea to be put back on to the agenda.