Hungarian-Turkish business forum touts bilateral trade

Int’l Relations

Hungarian and Turkish business leaders met at a forum in Budapest on Tuesday, held during the official visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. More than 300 people representing some 150 companies participated at the event, which was organized by the Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH).  

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán noted at the forum that more than 1,000 people work for Turkish-owned companies in Hungary, adding that talks are underway on eight big Turkish investments worth a combined USD 500 million, national news agency MTI reported.

The Hungarian leader told attendees that the government could approve an action plan to boost the countryʼs competitiveness by the end of the week.

For his part, Erdoğan pressed for business ties between Turkey and Hungary to be raised to the next level. The economies of Hungary and Turkey are not competitors, he said, but rather can broaden their cooperation by complementing each other.

The Turkish president noted that bilateral trade between Turkey and Hungary reached USD 2.6 billion last year. So far this year, trade stands at USD 1.8 bln, up 8% year-on-year, he added. 

Erdoğan said the impetus is present to boost annual trade volume between the two countries to the earlier set target of USD 6 bln. To this end, he welcomed a cooperation agreement signed by the MNKH and Turkeyʼs Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB).

Erdoğan highlighted tourism and logistics as areas in which Turkey and Hungary could cooperate. Business partnerships could also be formed in education, construction, energy, and finance, he added.   

Speaking on the sidelines of the forum, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said Turkish Airlines may launch a direct flight between Budapest and Mumbai. The carrier will soon start talks on the flight with Indian authorities, he added.    Apart from a Budapest-Beijing flight, there are no long-haul flights to destinations in the Far East from Budapest, he noted.

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