Orbán visits Turkey, seeks to jump trade 130%+

Int’l Relations

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán leads a delegation visiting Turkey this week, with some 120 business leaders from the construction, agriculture, ICT, machinery, pharmaceutical, chemical, environmental protection and water management industries in tow. A number of notable deals and agreements seem to be coming to fruition in an effort to more than double bilateral trade by 2020.

Orbán addresses Ankara business forum, “gladly offers” trade routes
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed a Turkish-Hungarian business forum in Ankara on Wednesday, telling those assembled that Hungary was well placed geographically for trade between East and West, and “gladly offered” its trade routes to Turkish investors.

The PM said that, thanks to agreements signed during his visit, Hungary could now issue two- and/or three-year EU visas to Turkish businesspeople.

The governments of Hungary and Turkey reportedly aim to raise bilateral trade between the two countries from about $2.1 billion last year to $5 billion by 2020. Turkey-based FDI in Hungary came to €3 million last year.

Hungarian exports to Turkey could be boosted in the infocommunications, automotive, electricity generation, oil and gas, environmental protection, plastics, healthcare and farming sectors, according to the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA).

Document establishing Hungarian-Turkish trading house signed
An agreement on the establishment of a Hungarian-Turkish trading house was signed in Istanbul on Tuesday. In relation to this foundation, agreements were signed between the Hungarian Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and the Turkish Industrial Development Bank, and between the Hungarian natural gas storage company and Turkey-based Naturgaz. (See below items for more details).

National Economy Minister Mihály Varga said Hungary aimed to increase bilateral trade with Turkey from its current level of $2 billion: “We will work towards removing any obstacles to trade that are still there,” the economy minister said, indicating that the Hungarian government is working to “make Turkish businessmen feel at home in Hungary, where the economy is in a growth phase.”

Magyar Földgáztározó to provide gas storage to Naturgaz
Hungarian state-owned gas-storage company Magyar Földgáztározó signed an agreement in Ankara, Turkey on Wednesday to provide Naturgaz with gas storage capacity in Hungary, Magyar Földgáztározó informed national news service MTI.

The agreement took place following the PM’s address to the Turkish-Hungarian business forum.

Hungary’s state-owned energy group MVM purchased the then-named E.ON Földgáz Storage from Germany-based E.ON on October 1. Magyar Földgáztározó currently operates four underground storage units in Hungary.

Eximbank in agreement with DenizBank, Sberbank
Hungary's Eximbank on Wednesday said it signed cooperation agreements with Turkey-based DenizBank, development bank TSKB and the local Sberbank unit. The agreements were signed in the framework of the inauguration of the Hungarian Cultural Institute and Trading House in Istanbul.

Eximbank agreed to make up to €100 million in preferential credit with terms between two and ten years available to DenizBank to finance developments for which Hungarian companies provide goods or services.

The agreement with TSKB features the supply of such credit as well.

-- David Landry contributed to this article

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