Press Release

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó: Further meat industry companies will be able to export products to Singapore

An agreement has been reached with Singapore which will enable another five companies, in addition to the 18 meat industry companies which already have export licences, to export their products to Singapore, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told the public service media on Monday.

Reporting on his talks with Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, the Minister highlighted that the foreign affairs and foreign trade policies of both Singapore and Hungary rest on the foundations of mutual respect.

It is good that there are countries “which are not busy lecturing others: instead, we accept that it is each country’s own history, culture and society that determine its respective political and social regime, and instead of occupying ourselves with lecturing one another, we pass our time doing sensible things, such as concluding economic and trade agreements”, he said.

He stressed that Singapore is playing an increasingly important role not only in Hungary’s, but also in the European Union’s foreign trade strategy.

After long talks, a free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore was finally signed two weeks ago in Brussels which is good news for Hungary as “we have a competitive foreign trade structure”, Mr Szijjártó pointed out. He added that the percentage of Hungarian exports to GDP is well in excess of 80 per cent, so that the fewer the obstacles in world trade, “the better for us".

He observed it is to be hoped that the European Parliament will swiftly ratify the agreement, and this may open up new opportunities for Hungarian companies.

Mr Szijjártó said they will propose to the Hungarian Parliament the placement on the agenda within the shortest possible time of the EU-Singapore investment protection agreement.

He said Singapore plays an important role in the exportation of Hungarian food industry products, and they have managed to come to an agreement that, in addition to the 18 meat industry companies which already have export licences, another five meat industry companies will be granted licences.

As a result, they will be able to export not only duck, goose and other poultry to Singapore, but also rabbit and beef, the Minister said, adding that demand for Hungarian Mangalica pork is increasing dynamically in Singapore.

Mr Szijjártó highlighted it is important that they have come to an agreement because regarding avian flu and swine fever Singapore enforces the principle of regionalisation, meaning that following the outbreak of one disease or another, it imposes import restrictions not upon entire countries, but only upon regions which is an enormous step forward for Hungarian meat industry companies.

In Singapore Hungary is seen as “a pragmatic country which stands on the foundations of common sense”, a country which has achieved with a disciplined economic and financial regime that, with its low tax rates, it is now an attractive target country for investments, the Minister added.

Mr Szijjártó also said they have agreed to mutually support one another’s candidates for various positions in the UN.