Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said economic cooperation is currently the strongest pillar of Hungarian-US relations, and Hungary is counting on US companies to bolster ties between the two countries.
Speaking at a business forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Minister Szijjártó said the war in Ukraine had put an end to hopes of a calmer period after the coronavirus pandemic. Although the war itself is a regional conflict, Europe is paying the price for it in “skyrocketing inflation, high food and energy prices and falling competitiveness”. “Europe’s decision to compete with a leading military power, the United States, in providing defence aid to Ukraine, was a big mistake,” Minister Szijjártó said. US companies are the second largest group of investors in Hungary, with 1,700 companies employing some 107,000 people, and bilateral trade jumped by 16% to record highs in 2022, he added. Hungary’s government has supported 103 US investments in Hungary, with a total of some 2 billion dollars, over the last eight years, and is in talks with a further eight, he said. Minister Szijjártó also touched on the agreement against double taxation, and welcomed US Republican pledges to reinstate it, should they come to power at the next elections.