The Central European economic area — including Slovenia and Hungary — is emerging faster from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic because they have persevered, capacities have not been dismantled, and people have kept their jobs, said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Celje, Slovenia, on Wednesday.
In his opening speech of the 53rd MOS International Fair of Crafts and Entrepreneurs, the Hungarian prime minister emphasized that all Central Europe’s strategies to preserve the economy were done at the best possible time, on the eve of a new era in which both countries, Slovenia and Hungary, could win. Hungary is ready to continue fruitful economic cooperation with Slovenia, noting that Hungary will exhibit on 525 square meters at the fair, and that there are 26 Hungarian companies present.
The prime minister emphasized that Hungarians and Slovenes had established the most effective cooperation in their history.
“Slovenia has always been seen as a Central European country like ours, and if we work together, if we join forces, both countries will be among the winners of the new world economic era, along with all of Central Europe,” Orbán said.
He noted that Hungary is at the beginning of a new global economic era — the pandemic has turned lives upside down, causing not only a health but also a serious economic crisis. Last year was a dark year for the world economy, with 114 million people losing their jobs globally, investment falling by 42 percent, and the volume of world trade falling by more than 5 percent.
Orbán went on to point out that hundreds of factories have been closed, large and robust international companies have been forced to cut capacity, and many international companies have dramatically curtailed their activities, meaning that power relations have fundamentally changed in all segments of the world economy.
He said he believed that the new world economic era that began this year would start with extremely fierce competition for the redistribution of production capacity worldwide. Factories are not simply restarted where they were closed, and capacities are not automatically rebuilt where they were before, he pointed out.
The prime minister emphasized that investors were looking for new locations with greater success and that Hungary is primed to enter this competition. Countries and regions that have survived the crisis, that have had a strategy, and that did not dismantle existing capacities will have a head start. He added that the Central European Economic Area — including Slovenia and Hungary — is just such a place.
Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (L) and his Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša (R) at a trade expo in Celje, Slovenia. (Prime Minister’s Press Office/Vivien Cher Benko)