The International Investment Bank (IIB) is to open a regional branch office in Budapest, Minister of Finance and Deputy PM for Economic Policy Affairs Mihály Varga said after having signed an MoU with IIB Chairman Nikolay Kosov.

Budapest is a rapidly growing economic and financial hub. Besides the opening of this office, the fact that the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) had decided to open representative offices in Budapest also reflects this trend, the Minister stressed.

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The IIB’s new European Regional Office is also important for Hungary, given the fact that the opening is in line with the Government’s efforts aiming to foster economic relations between the member states of the bank and facilitate their economic growth through the assets of the bank. “With the opening of the branch office we are aiming to help the IIB to get more closely integrated into the business and financial spheres of the region and the European Union, and bolster the bank’s presence in Central Europe,” Mihály Varga noted.

One of the main issues of coming years will be for Hungary and the fast-growing countries of the CEE region to boost competitiveness. This requires the extension of corporate lending, and the IIB can do that more efficiently from Budapest.

Hungary’s capital city fulfils all the criteria necessary for the successful operation of the new unit, and the Government of Hungary is working to provide the support which the successful operation of the new unit demands, the Minister said. Following the signing of the MoU, the parties will prepare the documents designed to establish the legal status of the branch office. As soon as this agreement is adopted by the parliament, the office is projected to open at the beginning of 2019.

Hungary’s membership in the bank was renewed in 2015.

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After Russia and Bulgaria, Hungary has become the third largest shareholder of the bank. In the positive decision concerning bank membership, the fact that the bank’s management had placed the operation of the institution on new foundations has been decisive. The bank’s new strategy and its rapid implementation enabled the IIB to become a modern international development bank, Mihály Varga pointed out.

(Ministry of Finance)