Hungary to host global trade forum in 2017

Int’l Relations

The World Export Development Forum (WEDF) will be held in Hungary in 2017, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI yesterday by phone from Sri Lanka, where this year’s event has been organized.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera on the sidelines of the forum yesterday (photo: MTI/KKM/Árpád Szabó).

The 16th edition of the WEDF is being held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 12-13 October. The WEDF is the flagship event of the International Trade Center (ITC), a subsidiary organization of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and is described on the ITC website as "a unique global platform to support trade-led development through two days of high-level plenaries, workshops and facilitated business-to business meetings."

Hungary supports most favorable trading partner status for Sri Lanka with the European Union and wants to see bilateral investment talks renewed, Szijjártó told MTI after giving a presentation at the event and meeting Sri Lankaʼs prime minister, foreign minister and trade minister, as well as the deputy chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The Hungarian Eximbank has opened a USD 68.8 million credit line to finance exports of Hungarian technology, while there is also demand in Sri Lanka for Hungarian farm and food industry technology, Szijjártó was reported as saying.

Budapest Waterworks, the Hungarian foreign minister noted, is the general contractor for the construction of two hydroelectric plants with a combined value of EUR 51 million in Sri Lanka, MTI reported. The Hungarian minister said he expects the company to play an important role in infrastructure investments required to boost the rate of homes with piped water from 47% to 70%, as targeted by the Sri Lankan government, according to MTI.

Established in 1964, the ITC is dedicated to supporting the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to its website.

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