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National Trade House produces HUF 100 billion in 2013

Int’l Relations

State-owned Hungarian National Trade House Company (MNKH) is charging on average a 2% commission for promoting the exports mainly of small and medium-size companies, CEO György Kerekes said in an interview with Napi Gazdaság today.

The commissions are in the single digits in terms of export value, he said. They vary between 8-9% for pharmaceutical companies, 1% to 2% for food industry companies and under 1% for companies involved in big engineering projects with values that can reach €20 million to €40 million.

MNKH estimates its services added about HUF 100 billion to Hungary’s exports this year, half of it in the second quarter.

Hungary’s full-year exports came to HUF 24.244 trillion last year, up HUF 1.101 trillion, official statistics show.

The trade house’s revenues from fees are expected to be sufficient to finance the new office openings this year, Kerekes said, noting that the next openings are planned in Singapore, Vietnam and Algeria in April and May.

He said countries in the East were not an exclusive focus, but North Africa, South America and the West Balkan were also target markets. The aim is to raise the share of exports to non-EU countries to 33% in 2018 from 25.5% at present, he said. [Editor's note: The Central Statistics Office (KSH) recently reported that the share of exports for markets outside the EU was in fact 23% for last year.]

MNKH has taken a wait-and-see attitude toward the planned opening of a trading house in Ukraine, the CEO told the daily, citing the potential for Hungary’s vehicle and machinery manufacturing as well as its farm sector there.

The company could become profitable from next year, Kerekes said. The national trade house has to become self-supporting three years from its launch, explaining that a HUF 3 billion capital injection was received from the central budget last year, but this was a one-off subsidy that will not be repeated. 

The MNKH, which was established by the state and is minority-owned by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), has established trade houses in Astana, Baku, Moscow, Beijing and Abu Dhabi.

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