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September Brings Back Sunshine and the News

Analysis

As regular readers of this column will recall, we close the printed paper (though not all of our operations) for August, the traditional Hungarian summer holiday month. This is partly because the news really does tend to dry up, but also because so many people are on holiday, it becomes tough to source quotes or comments.

September, as it so often does, has brought with it something of an Indian summer (I am not entirely sure if that term is still acceptable in today’s woke world, but I cannot think of a better description). It also, as one of my colleagues said in the editorial office this week, seems to have brought back the news.

The national general elections will take place in spring 2022, but in an attempt to get their ducks in line ahead of that and put up a credible alternative to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the opposition parties are holding a two-round primary this month to select a joint candidate.

As a business publication, we do not cover the day-to-day bear pit of politics, but who might run the country – and how they might do so – is of more than passing interest to the world of commerce. Our colleague Kester Eddy has produced an excellent piece looking at how the primary system (previously untried by the opposition parties in this country) works and who the five remaining candidates for the shootout are.

Elsewhere inside, we look at another hot topic for business, the growth of ESG (environment, social, and corporate governance) reporting, and what the Budapest Stock Exchange is doing to promote it. We also report on the now traditional American Chamber of Commerce forum involving the top diplomatic representatives from America and Hungary; this time, U.S. Charge d’affaires Marc Dillard and Hungary’s Ambassador to Washington (back here for a working holiday) Szabolcs Takács.

Away from the news cycle, what we might call community life has also been speeding up. We revived an old tradition on August 26, a “Back to Business Summer Sundowner” at the Marriott Hotel to celebrate the end of summer, the return to work, and to revel in the opportunity of meeting once again face-to-face.

Our big event of the year, the BBJ Expat CEO of the Year awards gala, is also fast approaching, drawing ever more attention from our superb organizational team. The event on September 24, held as usual in the Grand Ball Room of the Corinthia Hotel Budapest, was originally scheduled for January before the pandemic intervened. I have no doubt it will prove worth the wait, not least for our three candidates shortlisted for the top award: Prabal Datta of Tata Consultancy Services; Daniel Korioth of Bosch Group; and Erik Slooten of Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions Hungary. If I don’t catch up with you beforehand, I’ll hope to see many of you there and then.

Robin Marshall

Editor-in-chief

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of September 10, 2021.

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