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Economic and trade cooperation between Hungary and North Rhine-Westphalia will have a major influence on the growth path of the Hungarian economy in the future, the foreign minister said in Düsseldorf.

North Rhine-Westphalia has become the source of Germany’s biggest business investments in Hungary, Péter Szijjártó told a press conference. A total of 49,000 people in Hungary are employed by companies from North Rhine-Westphalia and their annual turnover is over 11 billion euros, he noted . Among Germany’s states, North Rhine-Westphalia attracts the third largest Hungarian export, he added.

He said it was very important that companies from North Rhine-Westphalia, having invested in Hungary, clearly welcomed the government’s amendment proposals that aim to improve the country’s competitiveness and address labour shortage problems. As a result of the challenges caused by low unemployment in Hungary, these companies had long been asking the government to ensure the sufficient workforce required for carrying out their investment projects, he added.

Hungary’s attractiveness for German investors can be maintained by making its labour market more competitive, he said. Companies from North Rhine-Westphalia are mainly involved in keeping Hungary’s car industry cutting-edge, and are glad to make investments in Hungary that are innovative, he said. Such projects are important to the Hungarian economy because the car industry currently accounts for 28% of the manufacturing sector’s output and its competitiveness largely depends on the extent of advance investments, he added.