Hungary is establishing a maritime port and exit for Hungarian enterprises in the Italian city of Trieste; the related agreement was signed on Friday.

At a joint press conference with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told reporters that Hungary has purchased a 32-hectare plot with a 300-metre stretch of shoreline in the port of Trieste for 31 million euros within the framework of a 60-year concession agreement. “We are also planning 100 million euros of infrastructure investment in the customs free port to enable Hungarian enterprises to manage their export activities from here, which are expected to be some two million tons, or 78 thousand containers a year”, the Minister explained. He highlighted the fact that the agreement relating to the port is one of the most important contracts of recent years, and is of strategic importance to Hungary and to Hungarian enterprises. “The agreement means the beginning of a new chapter in Hungarian-Italian relations, and cooperation between the two countries has never been so encouraging”, Mr. Szijjártó said. The Minister also spoke about the fact that Italy is Hungary’s 5th largest trade partner and also the 5th most important investor in Hungary, with the 700 Italian companies currently operating in Hungary providing jobs for 15 thousand people.

Matteo Salvini stressed that “we are opening a port in the direction of development”, and we are talking about a cooperation agreement that will contribute to Italian economic growth to an outstanding extent. The Minister said that during his talks with the Hungarian Foreign Minister the parties had discussed the field of energy, agricultural and food industry cooperation, and joint defence concepts. He added that they had also discussed major infrastructural cooperation, within the framework of which Hungary is cooperating with Italy. They also spoke about energy routes, which also provide an independent link between the two countries. Mr. Salvini said that in his opinion these are also extremely important steps for the city of Trieste from an economic perspective, while Hungary’s economy is making good progress and is moving forward “on a strong developmental trajectory”. The Italian Interior Minister told the press that on Friday morning he has phoned Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović in view of the fact that the parties would like an open port and open borders, which will facilitate the economy. Mr. Salvini also said that the Governor of the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga, will be visiting Hungary in September, and the Interior Minister will we doing his best to accompany him.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)