The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), Embassy of Hungary in the Philippines and Hungarian National Trading House CLS, conducted the Philippines-Hungary Business Forum on March 28, 2017 at the Del Rosario Law Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The forum gathered representatives from the government and business sectors of both the Philippines and Hungary to preview investment opportunities and concur business-to-business (B2B) meetings for companies from the two countries.

Eight Hungarian companies in the sectors of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Renewable Energies, Water, Printing, Consultation & Services Industries namely Master Iodine Aqua Kft., Tranzit-Food Kft., Bíró Péter / Biofriendly Corporation, Fővárosi Vízművek Zrt., Leviter Kft., Selekés Millers Kft., and Mangó Birodalom Kft explored possible business opportunities with their Philippine counterparts.

Trade Undersecretary Rowel S. Barba led the Philippine panel assisted by BOI Director for International Investments Promotion Service Angelica M. Cayas. The Hungarian panel on the other hand was headed by Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Minister Péter Szijjártó supported by Ambassador-Designate of Hungary to the Philippines Dr. József Bencze.

“Today is the perfect time to explore business opportunities in the Philippines with its sustained growth momentum of 6.3 percent GDP average from 2010-2016, the highest 7-year growth period recorded by the county since 1978,” said Undersecretary Barba assuring the Hungarian business community that the government will guide and assist investors starting from due diligence visits until their businesses are operational.

Minister Szijjártó for his part said the Hungarian government is more than happy to share its expertise and technologies to make the Philippine industries more competitive. He added that it will also encourage Hungarian businesses to establish business relationships with Philippine companies.

DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba at PH Hungary Forum

Trade Undersecretary Barba at the opening of the Philippines-Hungary Business Forum at the Del Rosario Law Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Director Cayas meanwhile presented the investment opportunities and the incentives available for preferred business activities in the Philippines through BOI registration and Export Marketing Bureau Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua R. Legaspi on the trade opportunities for both countries. PCCI President George Barcelon on the other hand welcomed the involvement of Hungarian business community in the country to promote trade and investments.

EU-Philippines Business Network Project Manager, Valerio Mazzone, presented the trade and investment situation between Philippines and Hungary while Chief Executive Officer Zsanett Oláh introduced its company, the Hungarian National Trading House CLS, highlighted key sectors of Hungary, particularly in research and development, agri-based technologies, ICT, water management and many others.

PH Hungary Business Forum, 28 Mar 2017

These companies stationed mini-booths after the investment forum to accommodate inquiries and possible business partnership and collaboration with Philippine company representatives.

At the forum, PCCI President, George T. Barcelon, and Ambassador Dr. József Bencze also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between PCCI and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce & Industry which is aimed to foster development of commercial exchanges and economic cooperation between their members that is mutually beneficial to both parties.

Along with the conduct of the PH-Hungary Investment Forum, the Hungarian Embassy in the Philippines also reopened in Taguig, after twenty three (23) years. Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, Peter Szijjártó, also signed yesterday the Philippines-Hungarian Economic Cooperation Agreement, sealing the commitment of both countries to shift its trade partnership to a strategic direction.

In 2016, Hungary ranked as the Philippines’ 40th trading partner (out of 226), 26th export market (out of 213) and 63rd import supplier (out of 206).

In 2015, the Philippines was Hungary’s 4th import supplier among the ASEAN Member States (AMS). As an export market, the Philippines ranked 5th.