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Hungarian Consul General visits Chamber to further strengthen trade links

Hungarian Consul General visits Chamber to further strengthen trade links

The Consul General of Hungary Krisztina Kátai-Nagy (centre) who was welcomed to the Chamber by Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly (left) and Chamber President Albert Weatherill.

THE Chamber is always looking to broaden its international reach and strengthen trading links with other nations and was delighted to welcome the Consul General of Hungary to its Hull headquarters.

Krisztina Kátai-Nagy met with Chamber Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly, External Affairs and Membership Director David Hooper and its newly-elected President, Albert Weatherill, to discuss how the two organisations may be able to build political and business ties.

Krisztina explained how the Hungarian Consulate General opened in Manchester in 2019 to support the estimated 30-40,000 Hungarian nationals living in the North of England, with around 2,000 of those living in Hull and the East Riding. Hungary is always looking for potential investments and opportunities, and the Consul General was very keen to bring a delegation to see the Humber’s renewables industry.

Ian highlighted how Hull is a port city with good seaborne trading routes via Stenaline and Finnlines, and that the Chamber’s new Vice President, Kirk Akdemir, is Turkish. He also noted that the city’s football club had recently been taken over by Turkish owners. The Chamber also has strong links to the Caribbean as it is the only bilateral Chamber not based in London. There are 79 bilateral, and 53 British Chambers of Commerce in the UK.

Ian said he would be happy to work towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding which would signify that Hungary is open for business in the North of England.

Krisztina welcomed his comments, and highlighted that Hungary has now strengthened its presence in the UK by having a Consulate General in Manchester and recently opening a new Consulate General in Edinburgh. Building on the Hungarian communities their aim is to build business and commercial ties and reinforce the bilateral trade links with the North.

“There are thought to be seven to eight thousand Hungarians in the Manchester area alone, and not many people realise that Wizz Air which flies into Liverpool is Hungarian owned. It is great that Budapest can be reached by a two hour direct flight from Manchester and Liverpool as well, which presents a great opportunity for an exciting city break in the beautiful Hungarian capital.”

Krisztina also highlighted that the UK is the 6th largest foreign direct investor-country in Hungary with investments amounting 3.6 billion euros and 725 UK-owned companies in Hungary are employing more than 52 thousand people.

The success of the Hungarian economy is greatly based on the results of export and FDI. Hungary is persistent in its efforts to maintain an investment-friendly business environment. This is supported by the country’s ideal geographical position in the centre of Europe, the well-developed infrastructure, ready-made industrial sites, offices and science parks and excellent transportation connections. Hungary also has a well-qualified, multilingual workforce and good balance of labour costs and quality. Our supportive business climate includes an investor-friendly legal environment and a very competitive taxation system: a flat rate of 15% income tax, a flat rate of 9% for corporate tax – the lowest in Europe – and a social contribution tax rate of only 13%.

Hungary is trying to attract inward investment. It already has established car factories owned by Mercedes and BMW located there, as well as electric battery manufacturing facilities. Hungary is already the world's fourth largest producer of electric batteries.

The Chamber’s new President, Albert Weatherill, said: “This is certainly an area where a lot is happening – we have to persuade the Government to catch up because industry is pouring into the Humber. Billions of Euros are being invested into this area, and the biggest challenge is finding people to fill all the jobs and particularly the lower paid jobs at the moment.

“We have the biggest enterprise zones in the UK, Freeports coming on stream and relaxing rules for the hospitality industry with the EU to allow more people to work in the UK would help”.

He also highlighted that some of the lowest living costs and house prices in the country can be enjoyed in this area.”


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