The total trade volume between Qatar and Hungary increased by 40 percent to QR337m in 2018 compared with QR241m recorded in 2017, Qatar Chamber’s (QC) First Vice-Chairman Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari said while addressing a meeting between the QC and Hungarian trade delegation yesterday.
The Hungarian trade delegation, which was led by Ference Miklossy, First Vice-President of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), included Hungarian business leaders in various sectors including food, metals, technology, agriculture, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Hungary’s Ambassador to Qatar, Barnabas Foddor also attended the event.
During the meeting, Al Kuwari reiterated that while there has been development in the trade relations between both countries, trade volume remains low. He added that both countries are currently seeking ways to further boost trade relations.
Encouraging Qatari businessmen to invest in Hungary, he said the country is a good destination for Qatari investments especially in the industries, automobile, infrastructure, agriculture, and pharmaceutical sectors.
“This meeting shows the desire of Qatari entrepreneurs to explore and invest in Hungary. Qatar Chamber encourages Qatari investors to benefit from various opportunities in Hungary. Also, we expect to see more from Hungary in the Qatari market,” he added.
Al Kuwari highlighted various incentives provided by the Qatari government in attracting foreign direct investments into the country. These include the recently approved laws and regulations facilitating trade activities in the country, infrastructure projects, and the opportunities available at the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA).
Also speaking at the event, Miklossy said that development in bilateral relations between Qatar and Hungary started during the visit of Father Amir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to Hungary 15 years ago, which was also the time when Hungary’s national oil company was taking active roles in Qatar’s industries.
The visit was followed by the opening of Hungary’s diplomatic mission in Doha, the opening of Qatar’s embassy in Budapest, as well as Qatar Airways’ opening of its office in Hungary.
“Now, there are 12 direct flights between Budapest and Qatar. We have seen development in cultural relations with Qatar. But business and trading value lag behind. We hope to see enormous development in these fields in the next two years. And with our government’s support, we’re here to explore opportunities to develop trading relations with Qatar in the coming years,” Miklossy added.
Hungary is currently experiencing strong economic growth within the European Union, with a national GDP of 5 percent this year. The country is also home to manufacturing units for the world’s luxurious automobile giants including Audi, Mercedes, and BMW.
“Hungary’s pharmaceuticals are highly appreciated in the world, and our Information Technology and Research & Development have always been on the leading edge. We believe this environment will provide Qatari investors with amazing opportunities in our country. And we hope we could turn our discussions into tangible results of partnerships and projects” he added.
Foddor said the Hungarian embassy in Qatar encourages Hungarian companies to invest in Qatar. He reiterated that the bilateral agreements on investments that have been signed between the two countries, in addition to another agreement on investment protection which is expected to be signed soon, will help further boost trade relations of both countries.
Miklossy, during the event, invited Al Kuwari and other QC members to visit Hungary. Al Kuwari, who has previously visited Hungary, also identified Hungarian real estate and medical devices as other investment opportunities for Qatari entrepreneurs.