May 24, 2024 1:02 am
Viktor Orbán Visits Donald Trump as NATO Celebrations Take Place in Hungary

Historically, relations between Hungary and the United States have been strained, and this tension is reflected in Hungary’s economy. In March, Hungary marked 25 years since joining the NATO defense alliance. The celebration at the Central European University in Budapest was attended by the American ambassador, local democracy advocates, researchers, professors, and former ministers. Notably absent from the event was Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who had led Hungary’s entry into NATO in 1999. The American ambassador emphasized Orbán’s commitment to a democratic future as part of the West, even though US-Hungary relations remain strained.

In recent years, Hungary has turned toward the East, with changing tones in the speeches of Western investors. While Germany was once a loyal investor in Hungary, with strong support from Chancellor Angela Merkel, sentiments have shifted. A survey among Germany’s industrial management showed a significant decline in trust in Hungary. Some foreign investors, like an Austrian company affiliated with Spar, have publicly expressed dissatisfaction with how foreign investors are treated in Hungary. This discontent has not just been limited to EU countries but has also been felt among Western investors.

Despite these challenges, Western companies are still investing in Hungary albeit with some adjustments. Transparency International highlighted that the investment climate has not seen drastic changes; however Chinese projects have introduced a new culture of secrecy in Hungary while targeting foreign companies particularly with additional taxes aimed at them. While there are hostile attitudes towards EU countries and USA among some sectors of society there is no direct influence on business sector yet due to its diplomatic relations with Western countries and investment climates could shape up for future economic growth or stagnation depending on how they pan out

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