Hungarian Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics met Peter Altmaier, the German minister of economic affairs and energy, to discuss further economic and innovation cooperation in view of Germany taking over the rotating presidency of the European Union in the second half of the year.
The ministers agreed that experience during the coronavirus outbreak might prompt German companies to shorten their supply chains, giving priority to sites in central Europe, the innovation and technology ministry said in a statement. The ministers agreed that central and eastern Europe’s value may rise thanks to its vicinity and competitiveness. The Visegrad countries are Germany’s largest trading partner, the statement said, with trade amounting to 300 billion euros last year, surpassing trade figures with the United States or China. Palkovics welcomed the German government’s call for more EU funding for those areas in the bloc’s budget for the 2021-2027 financial cycle.
Strengthening bilateral ties receives a special urgency ahead of Germany taking over the rotating presidency of the EU from July 1. Hungary is ready to become an active partner in projects aimed to get over the “virus crisis”, the ministry said.