By the end of June, the delegation led by the Chairman of the US-Hungary Business Council (UHBC), Eric Stewart held a discussion with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó and Minister for National Economy, Mihály Varga.
Szijjártó stressed that economic ties years between the United States and Hungary have become closer in the recent years. Last year the volume of Hungarian export to US increased by about 10 per cent and ten new US investment projects were implemented in the country The Hungarian policy makers regularly consults with US enterprises, ten of them are strategic partners of the government. He also noted that few tax changes (e.g. rise of tax relief for R&D, tax allowance for mobilizing and training workforce) were introduced which were also recommended by the American firms. Hungary also pays close attention to the negotiations between the US and EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Hungary supports the removal of trade and non-tariffs barriers, however, the final agreement should coincide with national interests of the Member States.
Outside the EU, USA is the most important investor and export market, the third largest import partner for Hungary. About 1,600 US companies operates in the country and they have already invested USD9bn and employ some 100,000 people as well. The low rate of corporate income tax, the well-developed infrastructure (road, railway and telecommunication networks), skilled and relatively cheap workforce together with the geographical position can be considered as competitive advantages for Hungary which attracts foreign investments from the USA as well. The new legislation on taxation will change the relationship between the tax authority and enterprises that could improve the regulatory environment further.