The protocol was signed by the Romanian Minister of SMEs, Trade and Business Environment Constantin Nita and by his Hungarian counterpart Minister of National Development and Economy Istvan Varga, who have analyzed together the evolution of the trade and economic exchanges between Romania and Hungary and proposed new measure of cooperation, on the occasion of the works of the 4th session of the Romanian-Hungarian Mixed Inter-Governmental Committee, held over September 10-11.
The Romanian Minister said that one of the main topics at the discussions was represented by the development of the SMEs, especially in the crossborder area, and the means to support them in intensifying exports. In his turn, the Hungarian Minister showed his willingness to offer expertise to the Romanian side in the cluster field, which is a much more developed field in Hungary, and also in the European fund absorption field.
Some of these topics will be resumed at the joint session of the Romanian and Hungarian governments to take place in Bucharest, on October 10, 2009.
The value of the Romanian-Hungarian trade exchanges January through May, 2009, stood at 1.722 billion euros, with exports accounting for 486 million euros and imports for 1.235 billion euros, with a negative trade balance resulting for Romania of 749 million euros, while Hungary ranks 1st among the countries in the relation to which Romania record economic deficit.
The drops in the bilateral trade volume by almost 27 percent in January-May 2008, in the context of the economic and financial crisis, and the identification of opportunities to stop and reduce them, represented the main issues approached by Minister Constantin Nita and Minister Istvan Varga.
Hungary is one of the traditional economic partners of Romania. Late in 2008, Hungary ranked 3rd in Romania in terms of trade exchange volume, after Germany and Italy. Hungary ranked 5th as destination for Romanian exports and 3rd as destination wherefrom Romania imported.
The Romanian delegation at the mixed Committee was headed by Minister Constantin Nita and was made up of representatives of the main institutions involved in the bilateral economic cooperation. Moreover, participating in the discussions there were also representatives of the chambers of commerce in the border area, as well as representatives of the business environment.