German Chancellor Angela Merkel highlighted the importance of trade cooperation with Hungary in western Hungary’s Sopron on Monday, after talks with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The chancellor told a press conference that the turnover of bilateral trade was balanced and said it was a sign of “extremely close” relations. She said that the achievements of German companies in Hungary greatly contributed to the success of the German economy. Referring to the European Union’s cohesion and structural funds, Merkel said that “looking at the growth rate of Hungary it is obvious that Hungary has used those funds well to benefit its people”. Germany is happy to have contributed to that welfare through creating jobs, she added. Germany seeks to further develop scientific, research and innovation cooperation with Hungary, Merkel said, adding that ministerial talks would follow to that end.
The EU needs to strengthen ties with the US and China to prevent protectionist tendencies, the chancellor said. Merkel said that Germany seeks to build “tight relations based on trust” with all EU members and suggested that she would also promote the interests of Hungary and central Europe in the community’s next budgeting cycle.