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Hungarian FM optimistic on economic growth in 2010

07-16-2010 08:48 BJT

BUDAPEST, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Hungary's Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said on Thursday that he believed Hungary will post positive economic growth in 2010.

Speaking in Budapest at the presentation of an annual report of the Hungarian European Business Council (HEBC), which forecasts zero growth at best for the Central European country, Martonyi said he was confident Hungary can achieve around 1-percent growth in 2010 although the outlook for 2011 is less clear given the economic instability around the globe.

Martonyi also said that the fight against corruption, highlighted in the HEBC report as a priority for Hungary, has already begun. Several anti-corruption measures have been included in the government's 29-point action plan which was announced in June, Martonyi said.

"These include simplifying the tax burden, reducing personal income tax rates, and simplifying bureaucratic procedures across the public sector," the minister said.

Martonyi added that key elements of Hungary's upcoming presidency of the European Union will be the promotion of the Danube River Strategy, and helping Croatia on its path to accession to the European Union.

The HEBC report also highlighted the need for development of the small and medium-sized companies sector, which is relatively undeveloped in Hungary, as well as the importance of the country remaining open and attractive to foreign investors.

Speaking about Hungary's image, HEBC honorary member Pawel Karlowski said that a country's standing in the world in part depends on its openness of spirit.

"Image is a two-way street. A country is perceived by the world in part by how it perceives the world. Hungary lies in the heart of Europe and as such must also remain open and friendly to the world and its neighbors," said Karlowski.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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