CHARLESTON, WV – Today, Gov. Jim Justice and other West Virginia officials hosted cabinet dignitaries from the nation of Hungary – including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó – for a ceremony at the State Capitol, where leaders of both governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will bolster economic relations between West Virginia and Hungary long into the future.
The ceremony was held in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State Capitol Building in Charleston.
“Hungary and our nation, today, are becoming more and more and more united together,” Gov. Justice said. “And that’s really important, from a global standpoint, that we have a mutual respect and mutual love for one another.”
“This wonderful state – West Virginia – we have looked at the latest developments and we have discovered and explored some similarities with the dynamics in the Hungarian economy,” Minister Szijjártó said. “We do believe that, through the cooperation with West Virginia, with the petrochemical industry here and the IT industry here, we will be successful within the competition within the European Union.”
The MoU was signed by Minister Szijjártó, Gov. Justice, and West Virginia Development Office Executive Director Michael Graney. Hungarian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Laszló Szabó, was also in attendance for the ceremony.
Specifically, the MoU will allow both governments to agree to develop and intensify economic relations and practical cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, within the laws of their respective countries, and offers no obligation on either participants part to enter into any other type of agreement.
West Virginia is the third state with which the nation of Hungary has signed such an economic cooperation agreement.
“We are happy and we are excited,” Minister Szijjártó said. “We are going to do our best in order to make this cooperation great and to the benefit of the West Virginians and the Hungarians as well.”
“As we go forward, I think we’ve got some exciting things that could come our way and make good things happen within West Virginia and that’s what we want to do,” Gov. Justice said.
West Virginia’s exports to Hungary reached $6.4 million in 2018 with machinery, chemicals, plastics, and polymers as the most significant industry sectors.
Hungary is high-income mixed economy with very high human development index and skilled labor force with the 16th lowest income inequality in the world, furthermore it is the 15th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index.
Hungary is a leading force in science and technology. The country’s achievements have been significant, and research and development efforts form an integral part of the country’s economy. Hungary spent 1.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on civil R&D in 2015, which is the 25th highest ratio in the world. Hungary ranks 32nd among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, standing before Hong Kong, Iceland, or Malta. The Global Innovation Index places Hungary 33rd among the countries of the world in 2016.