Hungary welcomes Brexit-hit Indian firms

Ready to give tax benefits to investors, says Minister

July 06, 2016 02:34 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:01 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomes her Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in New Delhi on Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomes her Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Hungary has offered to “incentivise” Indian companies that might leave the U.K. as the European Union (EU) is unlikely to subsidise U.K.-based international companies for long in the wake of the Brexit referendum.

Hungary is no longer comfortable with “ivory tower” policy makers of the EU and is therefore looking for new partners like India who can strengthen its economy, Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

“We are willing to offer any kind of incentives, assistance or subsidies in case any Indian companies take sovereign decision to leave the U.K. and come to invest in Hungary,” Mr. Szijjarto said, and added, “Recently, Indian companies have begun to explore Hungary as a perfect location for investment. We have an excellent skilled labour force which is needed for high-tech companies. Our tax system favours those companies which employ more people. We have given tax benefits to investors. We have already incentivised Indian companies who invested in Hungary and will do so other Indian companies.”

Mr. Szijjarto is the first Foreign Minister from an EU member-country to visit India, after the U.K. voted in favour of leaving the grouping.

Hungary, the Minister said, supports faster reform of the EU as the headquarters of the regional grouping in Brussels has come to be associated with bureaucratic dominance. “EU’s decision is often biased in favour of the dominant members. Hungary believes that a strong EU is possible only when members become strong. Hungary will do everything to strengthen its economic ties with India and to restart the EU-India trade talks.”

Mutual support

The visit of the Minister is significant as it comes days after Hungary supported India’s candidature at the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Official sources said that during the bilateral talks held on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj thanked Hungary for its support.

Hungary is one of the major countries affected by the Brexit referendum as nearly one lakh Hungarian workers, facing an uncertain future in the U.K., may return home seeking new jobs. Hungary’s quest for finding Indian investment is partly influenced by the need to meet the challenge of Brexit.

Hungary has chosen to energise cooperation with India in 2016 as the year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising of 1956 when India’s diplomatic intervention saved lives. “We will recognise those Indians who supported anti-communist uprising in Hungary,” Mr. Szijjarto said.

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