Chamber of Commerce Corner, January 12, 2024

Analysis

This regular section of the Budapest Business Journal features news and events from various international business chambers. For further information and to register for specific events, visit the organizing chamber’s website. If you have information for inclusion on this page, send an email in English to Annamária Bálint at annamaria.balint@bbj.hu

French Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (CCIFH)

On Dec. 12, the CCIFH held its year-closing reception in Novotel Budapest City Hotel with more than 100 participants. After the presentations of new members, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (Hepa) and the CCIFH for another three years of cooperation. The agreement aims to continue strengthening the French business community in Hungary, expanding the partner network, mutually promoting each other’s services, joint organization of supplier days featuring significant French companies, and preparing joint delegations for professional exhibitions in France.

In cooperation with the Belgian Business Club in Hungary, the Joint Ventures Association, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary and the Swiss Hungarian Chamber of Commerce, and with professional partner Mapi Magyar Fejlesztési Iroda Zrt., the CCIFH will hold its year-opening business lunch with Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy. The theme of his English-language presentation (without translation) will be “The 2024 Economic Outlook for Hungary.” • When: Jan. 23, noon-2 p.m. • Where: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7-8, 1051 Budapest • Fee: Chamber members, HUF 28,900 + VAT/person; non-members, HUF 43,500 + VAT/person.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (CCCH)

The CCCH provides advocacy and support to its members at both local and regional levels and offers excellent opportunities for companies to connect with other business partners, helping to grow the local economy. The organization provides bilateral networking opportunities for companies through a wide range of events, such as its Business Breakfast, which is held at various members’ premises from time to time, Canada Day, an annual BBQ, and the biggest event of the year, the Lobster Night, which in 2023 was also launched in Szeged. A Carbon Capture and Storage Forum will be held in 2024, co-hosted by the CCCH and the Equilibrium Institute, to address one of the century’s biggest problems, the greenhouse effect and global warming. Watch this space for more details.

American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (AmCham)

AmCham will host Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy at its first Business Forum of the year. The event will provide insights into the ministry’s portfolio and its priorities for 2024 and cover vital topics that address the current economic situation, including employment policies. Following the minister’s keynote speech, a dedicated Q&A session will unfold to allow for meaningful discussions among business leaders and key stakeholders. The Business Forum will conclude with a networking luncheon, allowing attendees to connect and collaborate. • When: Feb. 01, 11:45 a.m. • Where: To be confirmed • Cost: Members HUF 29,990 + VAT/person; non-members HUF 40,000 + VAT/person.

German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DUIHK)

After an eventful anniversary year in 2023, the DUIHK is already looking ahead to 2024. The traditional annual kick-off event on Jan. 25 will report on the chamber’s planned activities and priorities for the new year. Given the rapidly growing importance of innovation and research and development for member companies, Hungary’s Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák and the CEO of the Investment Promotion Agency HIPA, István Joó will address the audience.

Belgian Business Club in Hungary (Belgabiz)

Belgabiz continued its tradition of starting the year with a grand networking reception in The Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel. On Jan. 11, members and friends of Belgium gathered to spend a sparkling evening together filled with delightful gastronomic surprises prepared by celebrity chef Márk Wirgha. The event was an excellent networking opportunity for inspiring exchanges in a light atmosphere, with a touch of Belgian hospitality, while enjoying the charm and cozy elegance of the hotel.

Swiss Hungarian Chamber of Commerce (Swisscham)

The next online webinar of Swisscham’s CEE-SWISS Impulse Sessions series will focus on “Material Innovations for a Sustainable Future.” How can material research help solve the current challenges? The webinar will be held by Tanja Zimmermann, director of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and professor of materials science at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. • When: Jan. 16, 11-11:45 a.m. • Where: online

Italian Chamber of Commerce for Hungary (CCIU)

As per EU-Chambers regulations, Bernardino Pusceddu, the president of the CCIU, took over the rotating yearly presidency of the lobby group from Jan. 1, 2024. At the end of last year, a preparatory meeting was held with the representatives of several European Chambers of Commerce and EU Business Associations in Hungary. The meeting planned future strategies and raised issues vital to shaping strong collaboration among EU economic players in Hungary. The primary focus was identifying the challenges and opportunities presented by the new year, including the Hungarian Presidency of the EU. There is also a desire to make the most of the experience of the outgoing EU-Chambers president, Damien O’Kane of the Irish-Hungarian Business Circle, who will be vice president of the association for the current year. This synergistic approach is essential to ensure the most successful transition and the organization of future events. Pusceddu underlined the importance of collaboration between the chambers of commerce, highlighting the need for effective coordination to avoid overlaps. He emphasized the vital role that cooperation between members can play in the success of the 2024 program. A willingness to collaborate, coordinate and learn from previous years will define the organization’s future success, underlining the importance of a shared commitment to addressing economic and commercial challenges in an increasingly complex European and worldwide context. The CCIU looks forward to working closely with all EU member states in Hungary during its presidency to ensure common targets are reached.

British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (BCCH)

The BCCH New Year will start with the next CEO Dinner event, with Nimród Kovács, entrepreneur and investor in FirstMed, one of the chamber’s longest-standing private healthcare members. The CEO Dinners feature a luxurious three-course meal with wine and welcome drinks, while guests get to hear from a foremost expert on recent industry developments. Kovács started his 35-year business career as an ad man on Madison Avenue, continued as a cable guy in Denver, and worked around the world setting up and managing cable, media, and telecom businesses such as UPC Hungary for many years before settling back in his native city of Budapest. He now enjoys a more peaceful life as an investor, philanthropist, and nature-loving vintner. • When: Feb. 8, 5:30-8 p.m. • Where: Matild Palace Hotel, Váci u. 36, Budapest 1056 • Fee: Members, HUF 28,000 (incl. VAT); non-members, HUF 38,000 (incl. VAT)

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of January 12, 2024.

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