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THE WORLD SAW ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCES ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE IN SINGAPORE. NO DOUBT, BOTH LEADERS WERE EAGER TO SUCCEED BUT, AS OUR INTERNATIONAL ANALYST SUGGESTS, THE WORLD IS YET TO KNOW WHO WINS.

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The recent meeting of the French President and the Hungarian Prime Minister was part of intensifying political relations between the two countries, according to French Ambassador Éric Fournier. In an extensive interview with Diplomacy&Trade, he also talks about bilateral exchanges; economic relationships, highlighting that 570 French companies employ around 40,000 people in Hungary; about how tourism figures are improving in both directions and cultural ties.

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Executive World

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Beginning with this issue, Diplomacy&Trade brings a top executive into focus, in a personal interview about his or her career and professed values. The first in the series is the CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Rafał Milczarski. He explains how his childhood studies in Britain helped him to become an entrepreneur and why he shifted from railways to airways and became an aviator. see article on pages 8-9

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Horizon develops exclusive properties in downtown Budapest

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Expectations were high this June as the world braced for an event never seen before: the meeting between a sitting US President and the North Korean leader. In fact, as our analyst points out, expectations were so high that it would have been a mission impossible to fulfill them. Both men were eager to succeed but the world is yet to see which – if either – of them will accomplish their goals. As of this edition, Diplomacy&Trade introduces a new section, ‘Executive World’ in which we feature a personality from the top ranks of the corporate sector. The first person we present is Rafał Milczarski, CEO and President of the Management Board at LOT Polish Airlines who explains how his management pathway led from railways to airways.

The WittyLeaks column is authored by Canadian Ambassador Isabelle Poupart who talks about what having a diplomatic childhood means for her six-year-old daughter and how it enriches her own experiences. On the cultural front, we cover the exhibitions, on display this month, of a Hungarian-born cosmopolitan artist, Yoko Ono’s closest companion for 20 years, after the death of her husband John Lennon. Interviews with the Chef of the Deák St. Kitchen in Budapest and Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs Competition 2018 await readers in our gastronomy section, and, of course, our program guides and society picture compilations, as well.

One painter – three exhibitions

­­ contents 05 ON THE RECORD 06-07 COMPANY BRIEFS 08-09 EXECUTIVE WORLD

22-23 SOCIETY 24 BUSINESS

10-19 FRENCH FOCUS

Red Bull Air Race 26 CULTURE Hungarian-born artist Sam Havadtoy 27 SUMMERTIME EASY LIVING

Rafał Milczarski, CEO, LOT Polish Airlines

Peter Freed

Interview with Ambassador Éric Fournier; French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Accor; Groupama; ESSCA; JOON; Lagardère; French Institute; French gastronomy

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Róbert Sugár, Chef de Cuisine DSK

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20 ANALYSIS

The Singapore meeting

21 WITTYLEAKS by the Ambassador of Canada

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Horizon Development

25 SPORTS

28-29 WHAT’S ON

Concerts, festivals, events and exhibitions in and out of Budapest

30-31 GASTRONOMY & WINE

Deák St. Kitchen; Baraka; Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs

PUBLISHER: Peter Freed EDITOR: Sándor Laczkó COPY EDITOR: Joyce Freed PHOTO EDITOR: Dávid Harangozó SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR: Tamás Varga DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Tibor Ocsenás ADMINISTRATION: Judit Ludányi ASSISTANT: Ágnes Rapaport CONTRIBUTORS: Sándor Laczkó, Tamás Magyarics, Réka A. Francisck, Isabelle Poupart PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead (Cover), Depositphotos.com, Shutterstock.com, Horizon Development, Embassy

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of Ecuador, www.eva.vision, Márton Kovács/MFAT, HIPA, Qatar Airways, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Coca-Cola, mandiemese.hu, Accorhotels, András Békefi/fotosarok.hu, Alexis Cheziere, Jean-Yves Bardin, László Balkányi, La Perle Noire, Araz, PIXELTASTER, Tamás Rizsavi, Paris Budapest Restaurant, Olivér Hargitay, Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool, István Slezák, www.tamaspal.hu, Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Budapest Zoo, Gábor Vető, Erik Meza/Javier Otaola, Gregory Batardon, Live Nation, László Emmer, Zak Mauger/LAT Images - Motorsport Images, Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian, Embassy of Canada, Designfood Antonio Photography, Réka Földi, MTI Photos: Szilárd Koszticsák, Attila Kovács

Switzerland celebrates the 127th anniversary of the establishment of the Swiss Confederation on August 1. In honor of this occasion, the August edition of Diplomacy&Trade puts the Alpine country’s relations with Hungary in focus. In an extensive interview, the Swiss Ambassador to Hungary, Peter Burkhard, highlights – among other topics – the success of the last Swiss Business Day, the Swiss Contribution Program and the contribution of 1956 Hungarian refugees to Swiss society. Of course, we also talk to the Swiss-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and cover the activities of some of the Swiss companies here such as, taking part in modernizing suburban railway traffic in Budapest and passing on decades-long experiences in recycling.

Copyright 2004-2018 DUAX Kft., all rights reserved | ISSN 1589-8075 This magazine is produced by DUAX Kft. The opinions published in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DUAX Kft.

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Our Focus country is France, on the occasion of the country’s national day in July. The French Ambassador to Hungary, Éric Fournier says he is working on bringing about as many official encounters as possible in bilateral relations. He also talks about the significant French investor presence in Hungary. We speak to the President and the Director of the Hungarian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry and present the French Cultural Institute in Budapest, as well as French gastronomy.

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on the record

HUNGARIAN ACADEMY PROTESTS HUGE BUDGET CUT

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences demands that the proposed amendment to the Law on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Law setting the 2019 state budget be withdrawn from Parliament vote, since these amendments were prepared without prior consultation with the Academy. The Hungarian government has recently established a Ministry for Innovation and Technology responsible for the centralized management of national science policy. In an e-mail sent on June 12, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology informed the Hungarian Academy of Sciences about the proposed amendment of the XL 1994 Law paving the way for the government initiative to redirect the research and development funds of the research network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to the budget of the new ministry.

V4-AUSTRIA MEETING IN BUDAPEST

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SZILÁRD KOSZTICSÁK/MTI, DÁVID HARANGOZÓ, DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM, COURTESY OF THE EMBASSY OF ECUADOR, WWW.EVA.VISION

According to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the Visegrád Group and Austria agreed that the European Union must be in a position to protect its external borders against migrants and ensure security for its citizens. At a joint international press conference after the V4-plus-Austria summit in Budapest, Orbán said ties between members of the EU should be “characterized by cooperation rather than confrontation.” The summit also marked the end of Hungary’s V4 presidency, which is to be taken over by Slovakia. Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz was invited to present his plans for Austria’s European Union presidency in the next six months. He said that during its upcoming EU presidency, Austria would focus on improving the wellbeing of European citizens and cooperation among member states. Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said protection of the EU’s external borders was crucial, and was of the view that security in the region could not be guaranteed otherwise. Czech PM Andrej Babis welcomed Austria taking over the EU’s presidency in July and noted that the Visegrád group and Austria saw eye to eye on migration issues. Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish head of government, voiced hope that the Visegrád countries would succeed in convincing the rest of the EU concerning cohesion funding and direct farm subsidies.

As outlined in the state budget framework presented by the Ministry of Finance on June 13, HUF 28 billion forints (EUR 87.5 mn euros) out of the total amount of HUF 40 billion forints (EUR 125 mn) allocated to the division of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the state budget would be transferred to the division of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology in 2019. The Academy says about HUF 20 bn (EUR 77.5 mn) of this sum consists of labor and operational costs related to the core activities of the Academy, and are unconnected to any actual research priorities.

UPCOMING NATIONAL DAYS July 1 3 4 5 5 9 13 13 14 21 26 28 August 1 6 9 14 15 15 17 20 24 25 27 29 31

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PRO ECUADOR´S HUNGARY TRADE OFFICE With the aim to promote Ecuadorian exportable supply and investment climate on the Hungarian market and other Central Europe countries, PRO ECUADOR has recently opened an international trade office in Budapest. PRO ECUADOR´s office in Hungary is part of Ecuador’s Diplomatic Mission to Hungary and it is located within the Ecuadorian Embassy in Budapest. PRO ECUADOR is the official exports and investments promotion institute of Ecuador. Its principal activities are to promote the exportable goods and services from Ecuador with emphasis on the diversification of products, markets and participants, and the attraction of foreign investment. The Institute has a wide network of offices: seven national offices responsible for working on the needs in Ecuadorian territory and maintains constant contact with producers and exporters, and 36 international offices focused on research, trading and market opening that benefit Ecuador. The international trade offices are strategically located in 29 countries around the world to promote the best of Ecuador supply among the largest and most important international markets.

NEW AMERICAN AMBASSADOR IN BUDAPEST The new ambassador of the United States of America to Hungary, David B. Cornstein arrived in Budapest on June 22 and presented his credentials to the Hungarian President three days later. Nominated by President Trump on February 13 this year, he had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on May 9. The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on May 24, and he took the Oath of Office on May 29. A statement by the White House says David B. Cornstein has a distinguished record of achievement as a businessman and prominent civic leader. He is the Chairman of Pinnacle Advisors, Ltd., a consulting and advisory firm and was previously President, CEO, and Chairman of Finlay Enterprise, a company he built into a billion dollar NASDAQ Stock Exchange Company during his tenure (1993-2006). “His great success in business is a testament to his exceptional leadership and management skills. Those abilities, coupled with his effectiveness in building strong and achievement oriented coalitions in his work in the public sector, make him wellqualified to serve as American Ambassador to Hungary.” David B. Cornstein, who earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MBA from New York University, has served on the Board of New York Law School, the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation and the Jewish Community Relations Council. He was Chairman of the World Presidents’ Organization and is an active philanthropist through the David and Sheila Cornstein Foundation. w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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SWISSCHAM HR BREAKFAST FOR DECISION-MAKERS AND HR MANAGERS The Swiss-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce has recently held an HR Breakfast that focused on the measurement of personality. Psychologist Olivér Nagybányai Nagy, the lecturer of the event, presented a personality test that shows, through a personality profile, to a given organization how similar the selected applicants are and how they differ from what is expected in the job requirements. The test examines the given job on the basis of what abilities and skills are considered to be important to achieve success. It is an efficient and objective aid in the selection and maintenance of workforce. The ‘Facet5’ measurement system focuses on five personality factors: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. The individual profile is compared to 17 reference profiles after which, the system classifies a person into a family – Advocate, Developer, Traditionalist, Presenter, Idealist, Generalist, Specialist or Chameleon – whose profile is most similar. The event was attended by several CEOs who expressed their gratitude to Swisscham for the choice of the topic presented.

HUNGARIAN NAMED EUROPEAN INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR Hungarian inventor Krisztián Imre has been named ‘European Innovator of the Year’. He won the award for his Extended Visual Assistant (EVA), a voice-controlled eyewear for the visually impaired. EVA's Artificial Intelligence recognizes objects, texts, signs and verbally describes what it sees. It collects and preprocesses audiovisual data and sends it to the user’s smartphone. The mobile app processes part of the data while sending the rest to EVA’s “superfast servers where all the magic happens.” Krisztián is the founder and CEO of the startup EVA Vision. According to the award’s website, “it is his deeply held belief that it is time blind people were given a better way to get around than GPS. This led to him developing the Extended Visual Assistant. EVA can significantly improve everyday activities such as walking, reading, recognizing objects and socializing for partially sighted people. His passion has led to a vision of the future for thousands of people.’’

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­company briefs EUR 1 BILLION MERCEDES INVESTMENT IN HUNGARY Mercedes-Benz Cars is starting construction of its first 'Full-Flex Plant' in Kecskemét, about 90 kilometers in the south of Budapest. Overall, the company is investing EUR one billion in the new car plant and creating over 2,500 jobs. According to a press release by the company, the first global ‘Full-Flex Plant’ of Mercedes-Benz Cars is the next step on the road to smart production: based on the ’Factory 56’ principles introduced in February, the plant is digitized throughout, designed for sustainable production and puts the human factor at the center of all activities. Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Manufacturing and Supply Chain was quoted as saying that “with an investment of EUR one billion, we are building in Hungary the first ‘Full-Flex Plant’ in the global production network of Mercedes-Benz cars. In this ‘Full-Flex Plant’, several vehicle architectures from compact models to rear-wheel drive sedans and

QATAR AIRWAYS ADDITIONAL FLIGHTS TO BUDAPEST Qatar Airways has announced that it will increase its flight frequency to Budapest by adding four additional flights, beginning August 2. This will take the airline’s 14 weekly service to Hungary to 18, to satisfy demand by tourists as well as transit travelers flying via Doha to Asia. A press release by Qatar Airways says Budapest is a high demand destination for both tourists and business travelers alike. According to Qatar Airways Country Manager Eastern Europe - Center, Grisha Jenkov, “we are

delighted to offer four additional flights to Budapest, one of our most sought-after destinations. In line with our robust and expedited expansion plans, this increase in frequency and an aircraft upgrade to an Airbus A330 will provide even greater choice to our business and leisure passengers, who can connect seamlessly at five-star Hamad International Airport onwards to more than 150 global destinations.” The route is currently operated twice daily by Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, and – according to the announcement

– one of the daily services will be operated by a wide body Airbus A330 as of August 1. The additional frequency, commencing the next day, will be served by an Airbus A320, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class. Passengers travelling in Business Class can create their own personalized dining experience thanks to the airline’s Pre-Select Dining service. Passengers can also enjoy the airline’s award-winning in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, with 4,000 entertainment options.

Bosch has become the world’s largest manufacturer of hand tools. The plant, which is over 38,000 square meters in size, employs some 2,400 people. Bosch products have been present in Hungary since 1898. This year, the company celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opening of its Hungarian office. The Group has nine subsidiaries in Hungary and

has become one of the country’s largest foreign industrial employers. In the 2017 financial year, Bosch realized a HUF 1,304 billion (about EUR 4 billion) turnover in Hungary – 13% more than in the previous year. Also in the 2017 fiscal year, the Bosch Group realized a total revenue of EUR 78.1 billion worldwide.

FLOWSERVE TO ESTABLISH A NEW R&D CENTER IN BUDAPEST

financial and accounting services for 25 countries of the North American and EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) region in seven languages. The new Budapest center is going to serve as a key resource in researching and developing innovative product solutions, by applying cutting edge technologies. The center will begin operations with 12 engineers and expects to reach 25 employees by the end of the year. Their aim is to employ 150 engineers to keep up with continuously expanding demand in the forthcoming years. This team will focus on incorporating leading edge technologies in fluid dynamics, tribology, rotodynamics and mechatronics into their products while applying best practices for manufacturability and assembly. When Flowserve was looking for a site in Europe, Budapest was chosen because of the investor-friendly business environment, its logistics background, the skills and language proficiency of the labor force, its talented engineers and the world-class Budapest University of Technology and Economics, according to a report by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA).

Flowserve, a Texas based industrial and service company, will establish a new R&D center in Budapest, building on the success of its business software center in Debrecen and the skills of Hungarian engineers. Through an estimated investment of EUR 10.3 million, the new engineering center will provide for product development, product testing and engineering service functions in the future. Established in 1997, Flowserve designs and produces systems of industrial pumping, industrial fittings, control valves, nuclear valves and precision mechanical seals, and provides various related management services that mainly target the processing industry. Flowserve has 17,000 employees in 55 countries of the world, with clientele in more than 70 countries. The Debrecen business service center was opened in 2016 to provide

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various drive forms, including electric vehicles, can be flexibly produced on one line. Thereby, we lift the production concept of ‘Factory 56’ to the next level.” The new car plant in Kecskemét will consist of a press shop, a body-in-white shop, a paint shop and an assembly line. The plant is highly efficient and has a CO2-neutral energy supply. With the ‘Full-Flex Plant’, Mercedes-Benz Cars is creating additional capacity and also additional technical requirements for the flexible production of future vehicles. This includes passenger cars with a wide variety of body and drive variants. Passenger cars with conventional drive variants and also electric vehicles using the latest technology in automated driving can be produced – under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations.

The plant of Robert Bosch Power Tool Limited in Miskolc, NE Hungary, celebrated the production of its one hundred millionth hand tool this June. The jubilee product manufactured by the company was a two-speed battery operated drill/screwdriver, of which over a million have been produced, so far, at the plant. According to the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), these products are the outcome of the work of professionals in Miskolc – from pre-development through the conceptual design and to manufacturing. The plant needed just seven years to produce the 25 millionth hand tool by the end of October 2008, and another five for the 50 millionth in August 2012. Then, less than six years passed until the celebration of the 100 millionth hand tool in Miskolc on June 12, 2018. As the Hungarian news agency MTI reports, the company was founded in Miskolc in November 2001 and has grown to become a determining factor not only within the company group, but also within the region itself;

MÁRTON KOVÁCS/MFAT, HIPA, QATAR AIRWAYS, MFAT

ONE HUNDRED MILLIONTH BOSCH HAND TOOL PRODUCED IN MISKOLC


­company briefs

COCA COLA BEGINS 'SMARTWATER' PRODUCTION IN HUNGARY

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COCA-COLA, MANDIEMESE.HU, SZILÁRD KOSZTICSÁK/MTI, ATTILA KOVÁCS/MTI

Coca Cola HBC Hungary has begun the production of its ‘Glaceau smartwater’ premium product, the bottling of which has been made possible by an investment of HUF 1.8 billion (appr. EUR 5.6 million), according to a company statement. Coca Cola describes "Glaceau smartwater as inspired by the way mother nature makes water, known as the hydrologic cycle. “We simulate this process by vapor distilling water, making every drop as pure as the very first drop of rain (before it passes through pollutants, of course). If that's not smart enough, we then one-up mother nature by adding in electrolytes for a clean crisp taste." The ‘smartwater’, produced in Coca-Cola’s plant in Zalaszentgrót, SW Hungary, will initially be sold in Italy, Austria, Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Ireland. Hungary’s largest soft drink producer is expecting to increase production capacity in the years to come; annual production could be as high as 100 million bottles per year. The Managing Director of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary, Minas Agelidis, says that Coke’s ‘smartwater’ is one of the specialty products of the dynamically expanding water market in the world, and has already become the number one premium brand in the United States and Great Britain. As the Hungarian news agency MTI reports, due to the continuous capacity expansion of recent years, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's exports have tripled with exports of soft drinks, fruit juices and mineral waters to 26 countries in Europe. In 2017, the company built the largest food industry warehouse in Hungary and in 2018 bought another 13 hectare property next to its headquarters in Dunaharaszti, S of Budapest, where the largest Central European production base of the Coca-Cola HBC group could be created. The company purchases approximately two-thirds of its raw materials from Hungary, according to the announcement.

SRF CHOOSES HUNGARIAN LOCATION

KUEHNE + NAGEL MOVES IN AT BUDAPEST AIRPORT One of the leading logistics companies worldwide and the market leader in Hungary, Kuehne + Nagel joined the Budapest Airport cargo community on July 1. The company leases both warehouse and office space at the airport, benefitting from the advantages of being as close to airfreight operations as it is physically possible, Budapest Airport says in a statement. As an integral part of the BUD 2020 five-year airport development plan of more than EUR 160 million, Budapest Airport will further invest into developing the cargo business at the airport. With more and more capacity restraints curbing the development of cargo business in most Western European airports, Budapest offers favorable conditions for the dynamic growth of both traditional cargo flights (like Cargolux, Turkish Cargo, Qatar Airways Cargo and Silkway) and also belly cargo operations. The latter are boosted by no less than four different transatlantic flights this summer, connecting New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Toronto to Budapest and offering around 10 tons of cargo capacity on each flight to North America. The Kuehne + Nagel air freight division in Hungary will closely monitor all these developments at Budapest Airport, through its widespread operational basis for special or high-value cargo shipments of goods, like pharmaceutical products and other items. As René Droese, director of property and cargo at Budapest Airport said, “we warmly welcome our partners in the forwarding business, joining our Cargo City community; I believe that this first warehouse and office space lease agreement is just the beginning of a long relationship between Budapest Airport and Kuehne + Nagel.” He added that “I look on forwarder companies as our closest strategic partners in developing our cargo route network. Jointly, we can bring the right cargo airlines with the right capacity and flight frequency to Budapest. We can also develop further our logistics capacities according to the needs of our partners, based on the latest technological developments. Being close to cargo operations is not only a question of convenience, but also an important factor in keeping costs under strict control.”

cars, smart lighting systems or innovative mobile communication and green energy. Infineon is present in Asia, Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and the American continent, too. Globally, they pursue R&D activities in 36 sites, while they have plants in 17 venues. The technical portfolio of the Group includes more than 25,000 patents and patent applications. In what they call the back-end site, that is, one for semiconductor-assembling and measuring in Cegléd, Infineon Technologies Cegléd Kft., which was established, in 1996 assembles and measures performance-semiconductor modules while Infineon Technologies Bipoláris Kft., established in 2007, assembles and measures low-contact disc thyristors, disc diodes and bipolar modules. Initially employing only 37 people, Infineon has become a continuously growing, predominant company in Cegléd and its agglomeration, with more than 1,200 employees.

INFINEON EXPANDS IN CEGLÉD Developers and producers of industrial, the German company, Infineon has once again expanded in Cegléd. Continuously in growth, the development of the Hungarian plant reached another milestone when a new central building of 2,000 square meters work space with combined functions was completed, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) reports. The building hosts 100 new office functions, a kitchen for hot catering for 400 persons and a laboratory that supports the development activity and the reliability and default analysis examination of the products. Basically, there are no cars, smart phones or bank cards without Infineon-produced modules. With its registered office in Germany, Infineon Technologies Group is a market leader in several areas of the development and production of semiconductors of industrial application, including more comfortable w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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SRF Limited, a chemical based multi-business Indian conglomerate, is going to establish, in Jászfényszaru, SE of Budapest, a benchmark plant, which will be the most advanced site of the corporation, so far. As a result of this investment, the Indian chemical corporation will become one of the biggest BOPET and BOPP foil producers of the world. Worth EUR 60 million, the annual production performance of the new unit is expected to reach 40,000 metric tons, creating 100 new jobs, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency reports. Established in 1970, with a current annual turnover of USD 860 million, SRF Limited is active in several sectors which are engaged in the production of industrial and special intermediate chemicals. The product range of the company includes technical textiles, fluorochemicals, specialty chemicals, packaging films as well as engineering plastics. Employing almost 6,300 people in 15 manufacturing plants on two continents, the corporation exports its products to more than 75 countries. Due to its modern research and development plants, SRF has already claimed 135 research and development and technology patents, and was awarded the prestigious Deming Prize in two divisions (tire cord and chemicals). The new plant in Hungary will serve as an example for manufacturing units producing packaging foils in the future by creating a new benchmark for automation and efficiency in the industry. It will host the BOPET foil production line of a width of 10.4 m with an annual manufacturing performance of 40,000 metric tons. The new facility, built by an investment of EUR 60 million, will begin manufacturing at the end of 2019. With its annual capacity increased to 220,000 metric tons, due to the Hungarian development, SRF will become one of the biggest producers of BOPET (biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate) and BOPP (bopp biaxially oriented polypropylene) foils.

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Milczarski RAFAŁ

POLISH AIRLINES CEO BELIEVES IN SIMPLICITY, TRANSPARENCY AND CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS It was 25 years ago that Rafał Milczarski set the goal to himself to go and study in Britain – at the age of 16. “I participated in a competition organized by United World Colleges to receive a scholarship to the United Kingdom. They operate a network of international schools around the world. As in many other countries, there was a contest for students in Poland, as well: there were about 1,500 for the seven places offered and I finished eighth! It meant that I didn't get in. However, a bit later, I was awarded an additional place in an English public school for boys, a Catholic school run by the Benedictines. After finishing that school I got into Cambridge University. I was there on partial scholarship and partial sponsorship and I studied economics at Pembroke College in Cambridge after which I came back to Central Europe where I had to work to return the sponsorship money I received during my studies. Initially, I worked at the Foster Yeoman Ltd., a great English company that sponsored me at Cambridge. After that, I set up my own logistics business in the railway sector – called Baltic Rail, it was one of the first private rail freight operators in Poland it was. Later, I was involved in setting up two more rail freight operators one of them in Germany this way I had extensive private sector experience,” he explains to Diplomacy&Trade.

WRITTEN BY SÁNDOR LACZKÓ “My path from railways to airways actually began with becoming unemployed. I had a period of involuntary unemployment as I was bought out by the other shareholders from my own company when my co-investors decided to buy my shares. During this period, I developed interest in other areas since I could not work in the railways sector. One of the companies I was offered to take a look at was LOT Polish Airlines. It seemed a very difficult case for me to make that change but I decided to take this challenge – that is how I became an aviator. Actually, I am still learning this business. I can probably still safely say that I am a better railway man than an airway man, an aviator. However, I am learning – I try to learn every day – and I hope I am learning fast enough,” he highlights.

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Holistic development

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Rafał Milczarski is a great fan of the Radom region, which is about a hundred kilometers south of Warsaw – and he is a popular figure there with the people of the area. “I was actually born in Lublin but I went to secondary school for two years in Radom before moving to Britain. I was asked by some friends of mine and I was glad to join and support an initiative to develop the region,” he says, adding that he believe in development programs that are more holistic. “Of course, the capital city basically always develops itself but a country is so much more than its capital city. I think that if you only develop the capital like Warsaw or Budapest, then, it creates huge amount of externalities like congestion. In every single East Central European country, there are beautiful places, beautiful cities that are actually very well worth

that people should really understand that our future is in our hands. Every person, and we have so many talented people in our region, is I believe about to go through a most amazing transformation. We believe that the transformation from communism into the system we have right now was very, very significant. However, I believe that what we are about to see will be even more significant because, on that same basis, as I was explaining, creation of the human mind is becoming more and more important. People who invent or develop great things do not necessarily have to be at the same place, they can work from a vineyard in Hungary and can still develop an amazing computer program. They can participate more and more in a global development – I believe this is increasingly going to be the case in our region. We have an amazing level of education, we have very talented people and I think a huge growth is awaiting this region.”

LOT Hungarian Airlines?

developing. They have great human capital, great investment environment, etc. and I believe Radom is one of them. I do not think somebody should necessarily move from Radom to Warsaw or move from Debrecen to Budapest to have a job. I believe the people in Debrecen should have a great scope to develop their own talents, working and having an investment the same way. So, I believe in a more balanced development model. I believe that wise governments definitely want to balance the growth out across the country – that is my experience.

Simplicity and transparency People in the Radom region note that Rafał Milczarski prefers simplicity and transparency in politics and economics. “I can stand by those words absolutely! I tend to say what I am going to do. I don't play games because when you play games you'll get lost in them. I have seen many people playing games who forgot to what game they were playing in that particular theater and they just simply lost the plot... You see, I take a very simplistic view: I define the goal, I am informing my partners about what I want to achieve and then I try to deliver it. Of course, sometimes, the circumstances don't allow the full delivery but actually, from my experience, I can say that if you really try something hard if you really focus on developing something, if you are really clean, transparent and if you work in a really meritocratic manner, you will achieve success, which is very, very important!”

The CEO points out that LOT’s goal in Hungary is to become the favorite airline of Hungarians. So, I would like LOT to be treated like ‘LOT Hungarian Airlines’. This is something that is really, really important for me. Tying to what I said earlier, now, I am clearly defining the goal. I am saying the same thing every single time I come to Hungary. In fact, we would like to be the favorite network airline for the entire Central European region and I think we have the chance to achieve that. We will grow, we will really focus on the growth we develop. Of course, we have to be careful because, contrary what is said about us, we do not get any subsidies, we are run as a market oriented entity, we can't take any state aid and we will not take any state aid. We are focused, we are diligent, we are hard-working and hopefully, we will be even more hardworking. We want to make ourselves better for our customers and I think, overall, for the future of Europe.”

Bright future for the region He recalls that, as a private entrepreneur, he had to take Polish institutions to court twice – and he won in both cases. “I think that by doing this, I really helped Poland - I helped to make the country better. I think J U L Y

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INTENSIFYING FRENCHHUNGARIAN DIALOGUE

For the first time in many years the Hungarian Prime Minister had a chance to talk with the President of France when they met at the Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, in May. Before getting to the significance of this meeting, Ambassador Fournier tells Diplomacy&Trade that “they previously had an opportunity to meet briefly, in Brussels last June, soon after President Macron came into office. At our national day last year, I announced that there would be a meeting where they would hold discussions, although, I was hoping it would take place in Budapest. However, the most important thing is that they were willing to address all sensitive

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issues, including migration. France understood, once again how important this topic was for the Hungarian leadership. The meeting was useful for both leaders in order to state their respective priorities regarding the European agenda, including the European Parliament elections next year. On top of this, Hungarian President János Áder came to France last December on the occasion of the One Planet summit and had a separate meeting at the Elysée with President Macron. So, there is a high level political dialogue between our two countries, even if I wish it were more intense.”

Intensifying dialog The Ambassador considers the overall climate of Hungarian-French political relations excellent. “In the last three years, I witnessed a genuine

resumption of high level dialogue. There have been three French ministerial visits to Hungary since 2016 and Members of Parliament also came to Hungary. Namely, Deputy Valerie GomezBassac was here in October in order to discuss with her Hungarian counterparts and government representatives the project ‘Citizens Consultations on the future of Europe’, which is now underway throughout the EU. This June, two MPs from the governing coalition paid a visit to Budapest in order to raise issues linked to rule of law in the different member states. From the Hungarian side, Justice Minister László Trócsányi, a francophone and Francophile, and a former ambassador to France, regularly visits our country, contributing to enhancing the level of political dialogue. Earlier this year, for instance, when he was in Paris, in J U L Y

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met his French counterpart as well as the French National School for the Judiciary (L'École nationale de la magistrature), which offered cooperation to Hungary in the training of judges.” The Ambassador is satisfied with the development of relations and is of the view that this recent dynamism is positive and needs to be continued. He also finds it important to mention the quality of interactions at a lower – but still very important – level, that of embassies, advisors or parliamentary delegations. He adds that on the international stage, the two countries share common concerns, and this paves the way for further cooperation. “We are happy to see that Hungary is joining PESCO, a treatybased framework and process to deepen defense cooperation, as well as the readiness of Hungarian defense ministry to contribute even more to the

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BY SÁNDOR LACZKÓ

DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

INTERVIEW WITH ÉRIC FOURNIER, FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY


french focus European Union Training Mission in Mali. We also take note, with interest, of development issues like the Hungary Helps Program that ensures cultural diversity and the preservation of cultures in the world.”

Consultation on a European level

FACTS COMPARED AREA country comparison to the world POPULATION country comparison to the world POPULATION GROWTH RATE country comparison to the world BIRTH RATE country comparison to the world LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH country comparison to the world NET MIGRATION RATE country comparison to the world GDP - PER CAPITA (PPP) country comparison to the world UNEMPLOYMENT RATE country comparison to the world TELEPHONES - MOBILE/CELLULAR country comparison to the world AIRPORTS country comparison to the world

HUNGARY

FRANCE

93,028 sq km 111 9,850,845 (July 2017 est.) 92 -0.25% (2017 est.) 214 9 births/1,000 population 205 76.1 years 91 1.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population 54 $28,900 (2017 est.) 69 4.4% (2017 est.) 59 11,779,908 78 41 (2013) 104

643,801 sq km 44 67,106,161 (July 2017 est.) 21 0.39% (2017 est.) 163 12.2 births/1,000 population (2017 est.) 163 81.9 years 17 1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.) 56 USD 43,600 (2017 est.) 39 9.5% (2017 est.) 135 67.571 million 23 464 (2013) 17

Economic relations “When it comes to the economy, cooperation is also very positive. France is the 7th largest trading partner of Hungary and its 9th largest supplier. Bilateral trade is quite balanced. Its volume, worth EUR 7.6 billion in 2017, has doubled in the last 12 years. French investments have tripled between 1999 and 2016 (from EUR 947 million to 2.7 billion). Our bilateral trade and investments used to be focused on industrial goods but it has been strongly diversified,” he highlights. He adds that “last year, we saw the departure of the last big French energy company, EDF, from Hungary, similarly to another one, Engie – formerly known as GDF Suez – that left the country this year. However, this development that I would call rationalization, does not mean that French firms withdraw from Hungary – on the contrary, there are many investments! For instance, I have recently inaugurated a storage facility,

DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM, SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

According to Ambassador Fournier, throughout Europe, there is a feeling of disconnection between the people and the decisions made in Brussels. Many express discontent or discouragement. It is in this context that the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, proposed initiating a Citizens' Consultations process this April. The consultation aims to collect people's opinions on the functioning of Europe, i.e. to offer them the opportunity to have a say on what they like and what they don't, the areas in which they would like to see more Europe or less Europe. “The good point about this consultation, according to statistics we have, is that Hungarians top the list of EU member states in answering this questionnaire, which is also available from the French Embassy's website”, he says. The French Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, who is a great advocate of this survey, also visited Hungary last autumn. “The Minister came here to learn about the position of the Hungarian government on various European issues – and she did it with an open heart. In addition to the Citizens Consultations that was in a very early stage then, she touched upon the issue of Brexit, innovation

and the digital market in Europe. However, the main topic of discussion was the renegotiation of the directive on posted workers in the single EU market. Posted work allows a national of one European country to work in another while remaining affiliated with the social system in force in his or her country of origin. Apart from discussions with Hungarian officials, she also met with students and she left with a better idea of what is going on here. I would say that thanks to that visit, official contacts between the two countries are more frequent than before. True, there are issues we don’t agree on, especially on how to handle migration, which brings up the approach to solidarity. However, both countries share common interests in the EU: we want to maintain a high level of financing for the Common Agricultural Policy in the next EU budget, we are interested in strengthening the European defense policy and capacity as well as to be more effective in protecting the EU’s external border, we want to ensure a European leadership on innovation,” the Ambassador explains.

a huge logistics center developed by a French company (GSE), to be used partly by the French retail chain Auchan. It means that even more merchandise is going to arrive to Hungary.” All in all, 570 French companies employ around 40,000 people in Hungary and operate in various fields: industry (Valeo, Michelin, Lafarge), agribusiness (Bonduelle, Axereal), finance and insurance (Groupama, BNP Paribas), retail (Auchan, Decathlon), pharmaceutics (Sanofi, Servier, Ceva), environment (Veolia, Ereco). The Ambassador also mentions that General Electric is involved in the PAKS 2 project of nuclear power plant extension and won the tender for the building of turbines (a contract worth EUR 792 million) to be built in the northeastern French city of Belfort. “In general, French investors seem happy with the business environment, as they tend to expand their business and production capacities. Our companies also strengthen their relations with local partners in order to expand their business, e.g. buying up Hungarian firms to acquire their know-how, which is an obvious sign of confidence and interest in the Hungarian market. When I arrived, I remember that the key expression was ‘juridical uncertainty’ because many foreign companies were questioning the ability of the Hungarian government to respect its commitment to the EU regulations and international rules. However, in the past two years, I have hardly heard any complaints. I must add that the Hungarian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry is playing an important role in making French companies to get accustomed to conditions in Hungary and informing them about how make business in this country.”

Many-faceted tourism

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Tourism is a field that has seen significant growth in both directions. The Ambassador stresses that “there is a significant and reciprocal interest w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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for our respective countries. It can be attributed to the wines, since more and more tourists go to visit wine regions in Hungary, but also to gastronomy. Last September, Wizzair opened a new flight to Bordeaux, which enables Hungarian tourists to enjoy this wonderful region known for his wine tradition as well as other parts of my country.” He adds that French tourists enjoy the incredibly rich heritage of Budapest, with so many cultural influences that make it absolutely unique. They also like the abundancy of thermal spas in the capital city, which makes Budapest a very original destination for all kinds of people (families, individual travelers, etc...) and it is undeniable that the tourism infrastructure in the Hungarian capital has improved a lot, thanks, in part, to French investors, like the Accor Group. “Our embassy helps in promoting the ‘destination France’ campaign through social media and events, such as the ‘Goût de France / Good France’ gastronomy event, which takes place every year in March. Also there is a bureau, ‘Atout France’, which is in charge of promoting tourism destinations in France, especially in the south of the country. It is based in Vienna with a representative in Budapest. Also, it is evident that the effect of the Bocuse d’Or is still here – many chefs and oenologists have received training in France.”

Cultural ties Cultural relations between the two countries date back centuries. Ambassador Fournier proudly recalls that “during my stay in Hungary, I’ve often had the chance to present the Légion d'honneur decoration, a distinction given to people for promoting French culture or French ideals. The recipients included László Baán, the Director of the Museum of Fine Arts and Csaba Káel, the CEO of the Müpa Palace of Arts. The reason is that French-Hungarian cooperation in fine arts and music are excellent. French musicians are coming to Hungary to perform almost every week: jazz musicians, pop stars and even singers of classical music. At the same time, many Hungarian artists are going to France. Of course, we should not forget about the popularity of French movies here, either. Thanks to the Petőfi Literary Museum, the number of Hungarian books translated into the French language is also growing.”

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french focus

A MUST-HAVE NETWORK FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FRENCH CHAMBER SERVICES RANGE FROM MARKET RESEARCH TO CORPORATE SET UP

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Commercial ties Another objective of the French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an organization of 230 members, is strengthening commercial ties between Hungary and France. The Director says one of the ways to achieve this is by facilitating the market acquisition of companies who are interested in the Hungarian market – “a process that can range from market research to the actual establishment of a company here.” Giving another example, Ágnes Ducrot explains that “our representatives often travel to France, usually at the invitation of local chambers. On these occasions, our colleagues meet with companies that are interested in the Hungarian market. Here, at the Chamber, we also regularly receive spontaneous requests that reflect the interest of the sender in the Hungarian market.” Adding to that, Miklós Maróthy recalls the case of French healthcare institutions looking for suppliers: “we organized a trip for a Hungarian entrepreneur to France last July and he had as many as 22 business meetings in two days with French and other European firms.”

Major source of investment

to the latest investments: in March 2018, the Citoxlab Group purchased 90% of a market leader Hungarian biotech company, Solvo. “Another example of large-scale French investment is that of a huge logistics center that will have a prominent role in the logistics of Auchan stores and in supporting the company's online business. The contractor of the greenfield project, GSE Hungária Ltd. is also a French-owned business,” she adds.

“The last comprehensive study, made among the members of the French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, showed that if we divide the Hungarian economy into eight sectors (energy, construction, industry, retail, transport, services, communication and tourism), there are important French players in each of them. France is among the top five or six countries of origin as far as foreign investments in Hungary are concerned. Among the 25 largest companies in Hungary, there are 3-5 French firms like Auchan, Groupama and Sanofi,” the Director highlights.

Not just the corporate field According to Miklós Maróthy, the cultural field of French-Hungarian relations is well managed through the French Institute in Budapest. However, he says “wherever we can, we try to be supportive in nonbusiness related areas, as well, like public education and culture. Lately, it was our Director who took part in judging trainee applications at various companies,” he says. Ágnes Ducrot points out that “the CCIFH is a founding member of the foundation of the French School in Budapest. So, we help where we can in education, culture and have an active presence in other fields, as well.” “We are also quite involved in the promotional activities of French companies already present in Hungary like in the case of the dairy firm Pannontej, which belongs to the French Savencia Group that has recently introduced a new French product range. We are present wherever possible, representing French interests,” the Director concludes.

French presence in Hungary She adds that “it is a clear trend that those who are already here are willing to make further investments in this country. That is the case with Valeo, Le Bélier and Sanofi, just to name a few. These are companies that have long been present in Hungary and are considering further investments or have signed strategic agreements with the Hungarian government.” As an example, she mentions the pharmaceutical firm Servier that has established a Budapest based state-ofthe-art laboratory, which is the company’s second most important such facility in the world, recognizing the top quality of chemical engineering training in this country and building on Hungarian intellectual assets. In this context, Ágnes Ducrot calls attention J U L Y

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programs that serve the interests of our member companies. We also organize events in a way that not only the top managers of the given member firms participate but other colleagues like CFOs, marketing and communication managers can also participate in the networking process and make good use of it in their respective jobs.”

photo by DÁVID

A strong message the French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France Hongrie – CCIFH) gives its members is that the Chamber can be a driving force for their business development As to what this means in practice, CCIFH Director Ágnes Ducrot points out to Diplomacy&Trade that the Chamber, established in 1991, organizes about 50 events a year. “Those regularly attending such Chamber events have the opportunity to widen their network, get to know old and new members, and establish new contacts.” The President of the French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Miklós Maróthy adds that the most popular among these events are the club’s activities related to specific areas of business such as marketing, industry and logistics, HR, finance or power engineering. “We do not think we are the driving force behind the business development of our members but we certainly hope to be one of the little cogwheels in that mechanism, an important element that helps exchanging views, getting to know new areas, new technologies and helping each other. The themes of these programs and events are designed to cover the interests of our members. There are, of course, other initiatives, like one of the leader boards of the Chamber’s activities, the ‘Health Charter’, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The jubilee conference was an opportunity to review members' activities on health promotion, more specifically, on corporate social responsibility.” According to Ágnes Ducrot, “we strive to compile


french focus

ENHANCING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE

photos by ACCORHOTELS

INVOLVING START-UPS TO CREATE THE ‘HOTEL ROOM OF THE FUTURE’

This June, AccorHotels, the worldleading travel & lifestyle group organized the first ever hospitality hackathon competition in Hungary. The 48-hour event took place at the Novotel Budapest City with the theme ‘the hotel room of the future’: how to create a unique, surprising, unforgettable guest experience far beyond the usual. There were nearly 100 participants from over ten countries. AccorHotels CEO in Hungary, Luc Gesvret, who is also VP sales, distribution, marketing, revenue management and loyalty Eastern Europe, tells Diplomacy&Trade that they previously held this competition in Poland. “We wanted to do the next one in Hungary because Hungary is one of the hottest start-up hubs of the world, developing fast. Our aim is to leave the barriers of traditional hotel approach behind and to search, find and implement revolutionary ideas for enhancing the guest experience, by involving start-ups and incubator service providers.” He adds that the contest in Budapest did not only meet his expectations but went well above them. “Our aim is to gain fresh ideas and input by cooperating with start-ups, having the freedom, agility, ability to move forward without any boundaries. At the same time, we give them the perspective of scalability and the means to develop further their solutions. We never know in advance what exactly the turnout will be or what kinds of solutions will be provided, but the hackathon in Budapest was above our expectations. We have found solutions, which are really interesting and would definitely be beneficial to AccorHotels in Hungary and Eastern Europe and eventually even worldwide.’’ w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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Technology and modernity Luc Gesvret stresses that they chose a Novotel hotel as the venue because “we think that such a competition centering around technology and modernity very much fits the Novotel brand, which has renewed itself to be a venue of connection for people rather just a place to stay. In doing that, the modernity and the urban side of Novotel played an important part.” Given the success of this contest, AccorHotels is planning further similar hackathons in the region.

Modernization and digitalization Besides experimenting with the hotel room of the future, AccorHotels keeps innovating in the present, as well, having just finished the next step of the Mercure hotel renovations in Budapest. According to Luc Gesvret, “in Mercure Budapest City Center, it is more than just a renovation because we did not just refresh the design. Digitalization is not aimed at itself, all the digitalization is there to support a new way of welcoming guests. This is what happens in

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the Mercure Budapest City Center where we dematerialize the reception and the team now is able to welcome people for their check-in or say good-bye at their check-out at any place in the lobby. This is made available through digital mobile devices.” This spring, the next phase of the complete renovation of Mercure hotels in Budapest was completed. As a result, a significant part of the rooms – 160 of the 400 rooms of the Mercure Budapest Buda, and 101 of the 420 rooms of the Mercure Budapest Korona – have a completely new look. The refurbishment of the Mercure Budapest Buda will be completed early next year, while the full refurbishment of Mercure Korona is foreseen to be finished early 2020. The most astonishing changes to the renewed hotels occur in the Mercure Budapest Buda, as

the 400-room hotel will become Hungary's first combo hotel, having 150 ibis and 250 Mercure rooms, of which 60 ibis and 100 Mercure rooms were completed during the first phase of the renovation. Another novelty at AccorHotels in Budapest is the very first Winestone restaurant recently opened at Mercure City Center. “It is about enhancing the guest experience, welcoming people with good food and good wine. Winestone is a restaurant offering high-quality Hungarian and international wine varieties, showcasing the local food specialties, presented in an attractive way. Winestone is our own concept. Having already opened 14 restaurants in the region in different countries, we opened the first one in Hungary, to be followed with more restaurants in Budapest at a later stage,” Luc Gesvret concludes.

THE BEST SOLUTIONS

At the end of the two-day hackathon program, three solutions were selected. One of these would reform the communication between the hotel and the guest. A platform was featured by the selected team, where the hotel, the staff and the guest can communicate with each other, create different events. According to Luc Gesvret, who was also on the jury, the greatest innovation in this is that, for instance, guests can set, before their arrival, what the temperature should be in their room or what should be in the minibar – that is, in what form a particular service would be the best. They can do it by creating ‘events’ through the platfom and the hotel can respond through the same channel. At the same time, it is also important for us to provide our guests with non-hotel experiences. Since guests are not only interested in the hotel when they travel, the hotel can also post on this platform different (even personalized) information about programs or restaurants – on everything that can give the guest a nice experience.” Another solution selected is a convenience service that supports the well-being experience. “Here, with the help of a voice recognition device, guests can give instructions to our ‘made smart’ room to control the lighting, the climate or the music – but, at the same time, they can ask for information or order food. The guests receive immediate feedback on all requests through a monitor. This service is also available from mobile phones, so, if you are already in town and it occurs to you that you did not switch off the lights in the room or want to get fresh coffee in the room when you return, you can do it from outside the hotel,” he explains. And, there was a third remarkable idea selected. The latest advances of technology also play a part in this, as it is a sensor-based, sleep-comfort service. “When one is asleep, he or she is least concerned with things such as setting the air conditioning. One of the hackathon teams came up with a clever solution they call smart pillow/mattress that watches body-transmitted messages during sleep and changes the circumstances if necessary: reduces the volume of music, cools or warms up the room, in short, provides a unique solution to guarantee the most comfortable sleep possible. Now, we have to prove these concepts and see that they can be implemented in as many as possible of our hotels ,” the CEO says.

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french focus

Groupama Hungary’s predecessor began its operation three decades ago, following its official establishment in 1987. Looking back at the greatest achievements over all these years, the CEO points out that “we are very proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the company. Initially, under the name of Garancia Biztosító, the company quickly reached the top ranks of the market thanks to meteoric growth. This is due to the strategic sense of OTP Bank and

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GROUPAMA HUNGARY CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF OPERATIONS

its president, Sándor Csányi, who very early, as a true forerunner, understood – by creating Garancia – the importance of bancassurance in financial services of the next decades. In these thirty years, I also should mention Groupama's foresight, which, ten years ago, was able to integrate the company within its scope while respecting its identity: a Hungarian company, attentive to the particularities of its market. We are currently the third national actor and we intend to continue our progress...”

Recognitions Last year’s MoneyMoon Award in the best compulsory car insurance category in Hungary went to Groupama. According to the CEO, “this award made us very happy as car insurance is a key sector. This is the recognition that, beyond the mere competitiveness of the tariff, the values carried by the Groupama Group also make sense: solvency of the insurer, quality of guarantees and services, proximity.” The company’s fund management activities were also recognized at that ceremony.

Commenting on that, Bertrand Woirhaye notes that it is a regular recognition for Groupama. “We are very attentive to it because providing the best performance for our clients' savings in a volatile environment is essential for us. We, therefore, pay particular attention to the quality of the teams in charge of finance, well supported by recognized partners: Groupama Asset Management and OTP Asset Management.”

We also develop safety actions in industrial fields with specialized stakeholders and the Group's technical support.” However, prevention is not the only element of the company’s social responsibility policies. “As a Hungarian company, we consider it our duty to support the activities of the host country’s society. We are, of course, present in sport, with football among the key players, as is evident in the naming of the Groupama Arena, stadium of the prestigious club Ferencváros. We are also present for this club’s water polo team, and more recently another club’s handball team (Pick Szeged). In culture, we have a close and long term partnership with the Vígszínház Theater. And this does not include local partnerships to which we are very attentive. Regarding other CSR activities, I must mention the partnership with the Food Bank, which is developing exemplary actions. This is not just a financial path – we have involved all our staff who have responded with a generosity that did not surprise us…,” Bertrand Woirhaye concludes.

Prevention, sports, culture At the Hungaroring circuit, Groupama is the name sponsor of the special training ground for drivers, supporting safety on the roads. The CEO stresses that “at Groupama, a mutual insurance company created in France in 1900 by farmers, we consider that our role is not only to compensate claims but also to intervene upstream to limit the risk of loss through preventive actions. This is the significance of our support for the Hungaroring driving school. But prevention is not just about driving. J U L Y

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Respecting identity

ATTENTIVE TO MARKET PARTICULARITIES

photo by DÁVID

Coming from Greece, Bertrand Woirhaye took over as CEO of Groupama Hungary (and Slovakia) a little more than two years ago. He tells Diplomacy&Trade that the objective here was simple: consolidating the success of Groupama in Hungary. “It is, indeed, one of the Group's finest subsidiaries abroad, with proven successes in terms of both development and profitability. More precisely, it is a question of taking advantage of the excellent development of the Hungarian economy to consolidate our market share,” he says, pointing out that 2017 was a successful year with a 1% market share increase in the life insurance segment. “Besides improving the quality of products, another issue is the simplification of internal processes to strengthen the quality of the service towards customers and the networks (exclusive agents, OTP Bank and the brokers), and, of course, to integrate the benefits of digitizing as quickly as possible,” he adds.


photos by ALEXIS

CHEZIERE, JEAN-YVES BARDIN, DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

french focus

Established in 1909 by the Catholic University of the West, ESSCA (École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers) is a ‘grande école’ specializing in business offering a wide portfolio of programs and degrees in management. Today the school is spread over eight campuses in France, Hungary and China, being present in Angers, Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Budapest, Cholet, Lyon, Paris and Shanghai. In the Hungarian capitol, the prestigious business school has had a base since 1993. In 2017, the school, that is already armed with AACSB, EPAS and EQUIS accreditations, obtained the prestigious AMBA (Association of MBAs) quality label, which is one of the best-established accreditations in higher management education. According to Dr. Catherine Leblanc (PICTURED LEFT), General Director and Dean of ESSCA School of Management, the label was awarded to the excellence of ESSCA’s Grande École Program in both its full-time course for young students and its part-time executive training format. “The London-based accreditation body assesses institutions that offer programs on master’s level. Its standards lay great emphasis on the quality of teaching, research outcome, as well as the coherence of program design,” Dr. Leblanc explains. “This award is the fruit of the collective success of our team, of our students, of our graduates and of our corporate and institutional partners. It strengthens the path we have chosen: We are innovating, using new technologies without losing sight of what is essential.” On the question of what these most essential values are, the school’s mission statement gives a proper answer: ESSCA equips students and managers for a successful and sustainable career while taking fully into account the human and social dimensions of a globalized world. This is achieved via highlevel academic and professional management programs, developed by a research-active faculty, a strong student mentoring system and respect for the traditional humanist values on which the school was founded. “Educating students for careers in a globalized world is central to ESSCA’s mission,” agrees Dr. Zsuzsa Deli-Gray, Director of the Hungarian site of ESSCA. “Our network with 239 partner universities in 55 different countries is crucial to this objective,” she continues, adding that all student mobility with partner universities is on an exchange basis and that incoming international students have the choice of studying in French or in English. Thanks to a mandatory international semester – study or internship – during the 3rd year and the possibility of further study at the Master’s level, all ESSCA students are given the opportunity to develop their language and intercultural skills, while gaining credits for transfer to their ESSCA degree. “And so one of the biggest advantages of our university is its international character: students speak at least 3-4 languages fluently and, by the end of their education, they are familiar with international corporate culture,” Dr. Leblanc adds. As education is focused on the corporate world from the very first year, (with practical and academic studies kept in balance, lectures held by visiting CEOs and learning expeditions led to places such as the Sillicon Valley), the alumni integrates into the workforce very quickly. According to Dr. Leblanc, 90% of the students find their first position in less than three months following their graduation, or even before, with 93 % joining the company of their choice. “ESSCA has up to 2,500 corporate w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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ESSCALATING MANAGEMENT SKILLS TRAINING MANAGERS WHO WILL NEVER FORGET THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS

partners who offer countless internships and positions worldwide, so it is understandable that half of our students sign their contract while at school. It is also a tendency that they create their own start-up business,” Dr. DeliGray continues, adding that 51 % of young graduates start their career abroad or at international companies. “Those many foreign students who acclimatized to the CEE region’s climate, even Brazilians and Canadians, have the intention to stay and work in Hungary.”

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Stimulating environment Selecting the best students from France, the rest of Europe and beyond, ESSCA welcomes up to 4,000 students each year. Speaking on the selection process, Dr. Leblanc reveals that out of over 6,000 candidates who take the competitive entrance examination for the Master in Management program, no more than 1000 are admitted into the 1st 33% year. On the other hand, once a student has managed to get in, the

school does everything to bring out and foster his or her entrepreneurial talents. “As we say, we give personal support from the first year of studies to the graduate’s first job,” Dr. Leblanc notes, adding that on all campuses, a rich and dynamic community life exists with at least 50 associations in the most different genres. “Our campuses serve as business incubators, and students can choose from 18 specializations, including corporate finance and risk management, web marketing, marketing of services and revenue management, procurement and logistics, and management of automobile networks.” Dr. Deli-Gray points out that placing the human being in the center of all economic activity is crucial at ESSCA. “Our students are human beings, who will soon become employees, or more likely, employers: managers who will be responsible for others.” Dr. Leblanc agrees and adds that ESSCA has always placed teaching and quality of learning at the heart of its mission. “Today, the digital revolution makes us question the place of training and teachers. The act of teaching must change to adapt to the way students use digital means and the potential for digital tools to offer teachers the opportunity of rethinking their pedagogical approach. To develop teaching innovation within the school, ESSCA founded its ‘Institute for Advanced Pedagogy,’ where a team of pedagogical experts offer teachers and professors support, advice and a reinforcement of their competencies through an in-depth training program.” In addition, according to Dr. Deli-Gray, the school’s creative MOOC boxes, interactive classes and classrooms such as the high-tech PECT room, function in the service of innovation, creating a stimulating learning environment. The Hungarian site of ESSCA is just about to rebuild these units as it moves, during this summer, from its current 888 square meter premises to a 1,338 square meter new location. “Meanwhile, our summer university is running until mid-July, with 44 students arriving from 12 countries," Dr. DeliGray notes. "It is a busy summer for us, in our 25th year, and I’m sure that next year will bring even more developments and innovations.”

CARRER CHOICE OF

19% 11% 4% 33%

2017 GRADUATES MARKETING

• Product Management • Revenue Management • Webmarketing • Interface Marketing • PR and Communication • Market Research

FINANCE

• Audit • Accounting • Management Control • Financial Engineering • Bank Specialist

COMMERCIAL

• Procurement and Logistics • Sales • Export

CONSULTING • Management • Organisation • Strategy • Information Systems

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french focus AN ENTERTAINMENT CHANNEL - JOON will enable passengers to access in-flight streaming, on their own smartphone, tablet or laptop. Once on board, they will be able to connect directly to the JOON login portal and choose from a wide range of TV series, animated series, Web TV and kids’ programs. If their batteries are flat, customers can recharge them through the individual USB port. A PERSONAL ASSISTANT – JOON is a laboratory where the ‘test and learn’ principle rules. The company will offer a network of innovative partnerships that can also be deployed at Air France. Surprising and smart, they are JOON’s first partners, but certainly not the last: TravelCar will take care of passengers’ cars at Paris-CDG with free and fully secured parking. A FASHION DESIGNER – JOON is electric blue! With its chic sportswear look, the uniform of JOON's 140 flight attendants reflects the spirit of the company. The uniform is made up of classic and modern garments, with slim line trousers, sneakers, redesigned sailor stripes and a sleeveless quilted jacket. The uniforms have been designed with recycled fabrics made from plastic bottles. INNOVATION – The AlloSky Virtual Reality Headset will be available to Business customers on long-haul flights in collaboration with SkyLights. This new generation headset provides several innovations such as a high-definition screen and a diopter correction to adapt to everyone’s eyes. It can be connected individually to each seat. Paper Plane is reinventing the way we offer someone a travel experience. More than just a pooled sum of money, Paper Plane will soon be available on www.flyjoon.com. Friends, families or colleagues will be able to raise money to offer you a trip to the destination of your choice. So offering a trip as a present will be child’s play!

JOON, THE MULTIFACETED EXPERIENCE

Comfort in the sky Business class travelers on JOON can expect 30 seats in a 2/2/2 configuration; a 2-meter lieflat bed; a fixed-shell seat for greater privacy; an adjustable headrest; an individual reading light; a footrest; travel blanket and pillow; a 15.6-inch HD touch screen and noise-reduction headphones; an electric socket and a USB port. They can enjoy the trendy way to access the latest entertainment options directly on their smartphone, tablet or mobile phone, free of charge: the latest news; TV series (Game of Thrones, Taboo, etc.); Web TV (Red Bull TV, Viceland, Brut, etc.); music; cartoons for younger travelers and they can monitor the aircraft’s position in real time. Passengers receive unique gift packages – a ‘Business welcome kit’ and a ‘Business kit’. The ‘Business welcome kit’ includes a pair of socks, slippers and a shoe bag, while in the ‘Business kit’, they can find Clarins© gel fondant, Vallebelle© pillow mist, an eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste as well as earplugs to complete their comfort in the sky.

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More than just an airline JOON is a fashion brand, a rooftop bar, an entertainment channel, a personal assistant … and JOON does flying too! To do all this, the 140 JOON flight attendants and qualified pilots from Air France provide their customers

with a new generation travel experience to six destinations departing from Paris-CDG by Airbus A320 / A321 and Airbus A340 / A350. A ROOFTOP BAR – a free catering offer in the Business cabin and a new paid option in Economy. JOON will delight its passengers’ taste buds with around sixty tasty treats, 20% of which are organic, sold on board by the crew. Enjoy cold drinks, appetizers, high-energy fruit juices or share a snack on board a flight in Europe. In addition, JOON offers a choice of drinks free of charge at all times of the day: water, orange juice, organic Segafredo coffee and tea. J U L Y

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summer season to Cairo, Cape Town, Fortaleza, Mahé, Mumbai and Tehran. In the mid-haul flights, the airline also flies to Rome, Naples and Istanbul in addition to Berlin, Barcelona, Lisbon and Porto, that is, routes introduced in 2017. Concurrent with the introduction of the Budapest flights, JOON will also open a route to the Norwegian city of Bergen, known as the gate to the fjords.

photos by AIR

As of October 28, 2018, it will be Air France's new generation airline, JOON that takes passengers from Budapest to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Starting with the winter timetable, three flights a day will be operated by Air France's airline, launched in 2017, between the Hungarian and French capitals. These flights continue to provide convenient access to Air France and KLM's extensive network of routes. JOON brings a new color to the world of airlines, tailored to the latest travel trends and needs, combined with the outstanding quality based on Air France's tradition of aviation. JOON continues to expand its portfolio in 2018: long-haul flights have been expanded in the

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THE ALL-YEAR-ROUND OPERATOR LAGARDÈRE SPORTS HUNGARY IMPLEMENTS INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICES IN THE GROUPAMA ARENA

football matches. I believe it is also our duty, as facility operators, to utilize the versatility of the venue. Here, big concerts play a great role. Although, these pose a much greater challenge than the smaller indoor events, we have proven that we can do this. Last year, we had two successful large-scale concerts: by Depeche Mode and by Robbie Williams,” the Managing Director proudly stresses. Regarding major corporate partners, Csaba Siklósi mentions Magyar Telekom, as the main sponsor of Ferencváros, and the Groupama insurance company whose name the stadium bears. “What especially pleases us is that we have a fruitful cooperation with them year after year as the year-end figures prove: they get what they want. For instance, Groupama has moved up in the rankings of insurance companies due to the fact that it has become better known and its name has been associated with events of positive nature. That is how sponsorship works in the international business world and I believe that we also have to move in this direction.”

Additional years

photo by ANDRÁS

BÉKEFI/FOTOSAROK.HU

The agreement with Ferencváros includes an option of extension. According to Csaba Siklósi, it is a pure business partnership between Lagardère and Ferencváros and “both sides need to prove year after year that the cooperation is worth continuing – a deal that brings smile to the face of both partners at the end of the day. It is not easy, though. It is not a ready-made situation that you place yourself comfortably in and things go well by themselves with the money arriving to your bank account automatically. It has been a hardworking four years and our job is to add more successful years to it." Four years ago, Lagardère Unlimited Stadium Solutions Ltd. signed a long term contract to manage and operate the newly built Ferencváros stadium. Looking back over these years, Csaba Siklósi, the Managing Director (MD) of Lagardère Sports Hungary Ltd., as the company is now called, tells Diplomacy&Trade that “I believe we should go back a little bit more in time. The sports club was already thinking – during the construction of the stadium – on involving an outside operator for the facility. Representatives of Lagardère acted, at that time, as advisors on what would be the best from the viewpoint of the future manager/ operator of the facility. Then, Ferencváros announced a tender for the operation of this establishment and, at the same time, became its official marketing agency. That tender was won by Lagardère, which established a Hungarian subsidiary to do the job.”

Unknown model put to work The MD adds that “we have learned lessons in these ‘historic’ years as we did something brand new here in Hungary. Beforehand, this kind of facility operation – this type of sports marketing that Lagardère implemented here – had been unknown in this country. Each time, an unknown model is introduced, there are difficulties and w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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challenges for which we, Hungarians have to find the point of connection between the wellestablished Western models and the Hungarian market in the field of hospitality, sports marketing and sponsorship services. I believe the past four years have carried the lessons of all these. At the same time, I daresay that we have become a kind of example in the region: we often receive delegations from neighboring countries who are curious as to what we do and how we do it, what is worth paying attention to. We are glad to welcome them because it is a kind of recognition of the work we do.”

Corporate feature Football matches, gala events, conferences, business meetings and other corporate events – all this is available in Lagardère offerings at the Groupama Arena. “If you look at the core business here, that is football, the added value on the part of Lagardère can be to provide the best possible service, including services for the spectators attending the match. Beyond that, we added an element that did not exist before: VIP hospitality. This brings a corporate feature into watching football as most of our partners in this respect are companies who welcome their own business partners – potential and/or well-established clients – to a VIP box during a football game. You

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can even consider it as an investment since if the clients have a good time – even with their families (that we can also take care of) – it is then easier to do business with a satisfied client. From the feedback, we can see that this has a raison d'etre in Hungary, as well,” Csaba Siklósi points out.

Beyond football “It is a football stadium but you don’t have more than, say, 25 days a year when it actually hosts football matches. That is where Lagardère again comes into the picture: we have to organize as many events as possible for the remaining 340 days. Obviously, it is our own business interest, as well, to host more and more programs here, be it one that requires the full arena or a conference, workshop, gala dinner, whatever. The past four years have also shown that there is demand for all this. The stadium has a favorable location in the city with good parking facilities and we have a variety of event spaces. Thanks to all these assets, we are able to fill the 365 days with content, including large corporate events. The past years have shown that we are strong in events attracting 300-400 or more people as these are the kind of programs that really take advantage of the assets of the facility. Altogether, we have 180-200 events annually in addition to the

Best practices implemented Behind Lagardère Sports Hungary is the Lagardère Group, which operates similar stadia from Brazil to Germany. “I believe we have managed to implement several international best practices as a result of being a member of the Lagardère Group. This would have definitely been more difficult to do on our own as an independent Hungarian company. The experience of over two decades this Group has accumulated in the field of sports marketing has drawn many good examples from all over the world. These can be small things but it depends on these details (like the creation, type and placement of advertising spaces) whether a venue or its operator is successful or not. Of course, the Hungarian market does not offer the same opportunities as that of France, Germany or Britain but we are still important because it is here that that the whole range of operational and marketing activities are implemented. In addition, the wide variety of non-football events call attention to the work of Lagardère Sports Hungary that even though, we don’t produce the income of the German or British subsidiary, we are still an important and successful leg of the operations of the Lagardère Group. We hope that we can further improve this position – even on a regional level,” the Managing Director concludes.

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french focus

the destination

FOR FRENCH CULTURE PROMOTING FRENCH CULTURE AND FRANCE, IN GENERAL

“Budapest’s French Institute aims at promoting French language and culture and encouraging cross-cultural exchange. It welcomes 20,000 visitors annually,” Frédéric Rauser summarizes the credo of the institute he leads since last September, as Director and Counselor in charge of cultural and cooperation affairs at the French Embassy. “Our assignment is to offer Hungarians unique programs in education and arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French culture. We also serve as a second home for the French and French speaking community living in Hungary,” he mentioned. Over the years the institute, that celebrated its 25th anniversary at its current location on Fő utca last year, has transformed into an inviting place, a ‘French hub’ for Francophones alike, who are often seen drinking wine and dining on the terrace of the institute’s cozy Dumas café, overlooking the Danube. The purpose-built building that houses the French Institute is only a few steps from the Chain Bridge, which, according to the director, has symbolic meaning: bridging the culture of two nations, as the second oldest cultural institute in Hungary.

another long-term partnership, with Müpa. He mentioned as well a strong cooperation between the Center of Baroque Music in Versailles and György Vashegyi & his orchestra. “Our aim is to further expand the list of partners in the future,” Rauser notes, mentioning that as of this spring, the institute’s language school and exam center became a member of the French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce. “Another novelty is our membership card that we introduced in March,” he continues. The ‘IF Pass’ comes free of charge for those who have enrolled in any of the institute’s language courses, to all librarians, children under 4, and all members of the Goethe Institute. It costs HUF 3,000 per year for students, French teachers, pensioners and unemployed people, and HUF 5,000 for everybody else. “It enables its holder to access our library (the institute offers a significantly huge collection of some 70,000 documents, books, newspapers and digital media) and all our film screenings – for that alone this card is worth every penny, especially when someone’s a fan of French movies. In addition, IF Pass holders are offered discounts at our partners, such as A38, BMC, Café Dumas, Café Vian, Giranelli, Go Active, Kolette Bistro, Larus restaurant, MNG, National Theatre, National Dance Theatre, Petőfi Museum of Literature, Printa, Trafó and Vasarely Museum Budapest.”

French films rule

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months, the 25-year-old auditorium has to renew in terms of comfort and will be refurbished,” the director reveals. “A number of conferences will also be held there, such as ‘The Legacy of 1968 in Philosophy and the Human Sciences’ which we will organize on October 4 in collaboration with the College of Philosophy Budapest.” Firmly present at Budapest’s cultural scene, the institute is known for being open to collaborations and partnerships. Their name is often mentioned

According to the director, in 2017, 2, 400 registered at the institute’s Language Center, which indicates up to 10 % growth compared to the previous year. “In fact, the number of our students increases year by year, steadily, which I am not surprised to see,” the director says. “Hungarians tend to be a bit more mobile than they used to be. They are more open to take up jobs in any countries within the EU, and even on other continents. Considering that up to 250 million people speak French in 29 different countries around the world, learning French is not only fashionable but also very practical. We have an immense number of different courses, for every age and need. For instance, in the summer we offer super intensive, 40-lesson courses and summer camps specialized for kids aged 5-14, as well as for French teachers, which is due to take place on July 2-6.” In the last few years, the French Institute has established affiliation with a number of universities, both in Hungary and in France, and it offers scholarships in MA and research programs. As for the future, Rauser introduced a five-year plan when he arrived, naming six priorities to focus on, which are, in priority order: Francophonie in Hungary, Language school, Tourism and gastronomy, Science and research, and Creating cultural industries. “With the Hungarians’ growing interest towards French culture and France, in general, and the help of our private partners such as Renault, BNP Paribas bank, Groupama, Colas and TV5 Monde, and with our enthusiastic team at the institute, I feel, everything is possible.”

as partner of the most popular and biggest Hungarian festivals such as Sziget, in addition to smaller-scale festivals in the countryside, such as Ördögkatlan and Bánkitó. “We cherish good relations with the A38 Ship, Trafó and BMC – these are all fantastic venues, which, due to our partnerships, have hosted countless French cultural programs in the past years, from jazz concerts to dance, theatre and new circus productions,” the director adds. He highlights J U L Y

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Investing in learning a language

photo by DÁVID

With the mission to promote and enhance the knowledge and appreciation of French and Francophone culture, the institute organizes a Francophone Festival every year. This year the one-month fest celebrated its 18th anniversary, kicking off with the Francophone Film Days, bringing the best pieces of current French language filmmaking to Budapest and also to ten cities in the countryside. “Our enthusiastic audience saw 22 movies and 4 short movies – a total of 70 screenings this year, and had the opportunity to meet film directors Emmanuel Courcol, and Serge Bozon, in person.” According to Frédéric Rauser, there is an increasing interest in Hungary for French movies, and to satisfy the demands, the institute started 3 years ago to be part of an open-air summer film festival, the Budapest Rooftop Cinema held at Corvin Club on the Pest side of the city. “The French Rooftop Cinema will start on July 5 and will carry on weekly until August 23, presenting movies such as La Môme (Piaf), Barbara, Rock’n’roll, Enter the Void, in original language with Hungarian and English subtitles. The highlight will be François Cluzet’s Intouchables screening on July 14. We expect full house screenings, just as in the previous years,” the director said, adding that the institution managed to receive preview screening rights in 2015, so it can be the first in town to show the best pieces of current and classic French language filmmaking. “Due to its updated sound-system, projectors and DCP technique, the institute’s high-tech and digitalized auditorium is also a perfect place to host screenings, and from September, it will transform, from time to time, into a cinema, offering a wide range of film programs. However, during the summer


french focus PARIS BUDAPEST RESTAURANT & BAR 1051 Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 2.+36 1 235 1230 reservation@parisbudapest.hu • www.parisbudapest.hu

THE PARIS BUDAPEST RESTAURANT awaits guests with French and Hungarian delicacies. Through its large windows, guests are surrounded by some of the most beautiful sights of the capital, like the Chain Bridge. Its show kitchen offers guests an insight into the preparation secrets of the restaurant’s special dishes. The wine list, which symbolizes the friendship and similarity of taste between France and Hungary, allows guests to express their passion for the wines of both countries. The Paris Budapest Restaurant provides a unique culinary experience in a milieu of beauty and elegance.

LA PERLE NOIRE

1063 Budapest, Andrássy út 111. +36 1 462 2189 info@laperlenoire.hu • www.laperlenoire.hu

photos by LÁSZLÓ

BALKÁNYI, LA PERLE NOIRE, ARAZ, PIXELTASTER, TAMÁS RIZSAVI, PARIS BUDAPEST RESTAURANT, OLIVÉR HARGITAY

LA PERLE NOIRE RESTAURANT features a tasteful interior, a lovely terrace, and a great location on the historic Andrássy Avenue, where beauty and culture meets. Its kitchen, led by chef Árpád Kovács, is a pioneer amongst the top Hungarian gourmet restaurants, which introduces modern and innovative dishes that draw upon French and Hungarian traditions - a real culinary experience for all. La Perle Noire welcomes guests with lavender champagne, followed by an “amuse bouche” to die for. Live music is played by pianist János Csikós.

ARAZ

1074 Budapest, Dohány utca 42-44. +36 1 815 1100 araz@araz.hu • www.araz.hu

ARAZ RESTAURANT INVITES GUESTS ON A HUNGARIAN-FRENCH gastronomical adventure in the bohemian district of Budapest. Located on a quiet back alley within the city center, the restaurant’s inner terrace feels far away from all the urban noise, a real oasis during the summer months. Nothing proves the creativity of Áron Barka, Chef de Cuisine better than the double menu he created, preserving the characteristics and traditions of both Hungarian and French cuisine, while mixing traditional and modern techniques. Culinary delights await guests.

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BORSSÓ BISTRO

1053 Budapest, Királyi Pál utca 14. +36 1 789 0975 www.borsso.hu • info@borsso.hu

TAKE A GROUP OF PERFECTIONIST CHEFS, give them the highest-quality ingredients, add a pinch of original Hungarian hospitality and a hint of French charm, pepper and salt (bors and só in Hungarian) to taste: this is Borssó, a cosy place that opened in 2008 at the corner of Királyi Pál and Képíró streets to evoke the atmosphere of an authentic French bistro in Budapest. Guests enjoy live jazz music on summer weekends and relax on the terrace lit by colorful lanterns. Just like in Paris. Oh, and their bourguignon is especially tasteful. Even according to the French.

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analysis

‘POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE’

NOT MUCH SUBSTANCE AT THE MEETING OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT AND THE NORTH KOREAN LEADER

The nuclear issue First, the issues are so numerous and complex that no one meeting would have been able to solve even a fraction of them. U. S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seemed to be concentrating on the single most important, existential problem, that is the nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. It is especially the North Korean nuclear weapons program that has been destabilizing the region, and affecting the security of South Korea, Japan, and the U.S., first of all. The issue is all the more complicated because Kim Jong Un strongly believes that the safety and the future of his regime very much depends on being a nuclear power. The sort of agreement between the two leaders made public calls for the de-nuclearization of the Korean

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Irregular diplomacy Second, a ‘summit meeting’ is generally the climax of a long series of negotiations in which the ’serpas’ hammer out the details of a comprehensive agreement to be signed by the top officials in an appropriate spectacular surrounding. Here, there was no lack of ‘pomp and circumstance,’ but substance was

mostly absent. Some suspect that the real importance of the meeting was the meeting itself. The two maverick leaders turned regular diplomacy upside down: their meeting was supposed to start the ball rolling, and the details are supposed to be worked out later. As regular diplomacy, including the six-party talks, has yielded next to nothing, irregular diplomacy may be worth trying.

Broader security structure Third, there are a number of questions which are not strictly bilateral matters. As was already mentioned, the future of the nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula affects the whole region, and even beyond that, the United States. The broader security structure in the Far East requires the involvement and cooperation of China, Japan, and South Korea at a minimum. Another question of interest is the future of the sanctions. North Korea is under a rather strict sanction regime authorized by the UN Security Council, and some speculate that the adverse impact of the sanctions on the North Korean economy and society played a role in forcing Kim Jong Un to take a more moderate position in a number of areas. The Trump administration insists that the sanctions remain until North Korea makes de-nuclearization an irreversible process. This is one of the biggest question marks right now: Pyongyang has repeatedly J U L Y

made promises to freeze or abandon its nuclear program only to break them every time. It remains to be seen whether Kim Jong Un is going to break with this tradition, or domestic political considerations will made him cheat again.

Eager to succeed The good news is that speaking about domestic political dynamics, both leaders have a vested interest in making the Singapore meeting a success. There will be Congressional elections in the U.S. this coming November, and though, American political life can be highly provincial, it is also a pattern that midtermelections are referendums on the incumbent presidents, as well. Donald Trump is busy fulfilling his election promises from tax cuts to getting tough with countries which have large trade surpluses with the U.S., and his base seems to be solidly standing behind him. A sort of breakthrough in a question that defied presidents from Bill Clinton through George W. Bush to Barack Obama would boost his ratings – and possibly the chances of the Republicans to retain both houses of Congress. Otherwise, Donald Trump might as well become a lame duck for the second two years of his (first) tenure in the White House. Kim Jong Un has his own problems, although, he does not have to worry about such democratic practices as elections. He seemed to have some conflicts with a few senior 2 0 1 8

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hardline leaders in the military; if he cannot deliver on this opening to the U.S., he might face some strong dissent within the military and, possibly, in the Communist Party, too.

What next? The tunes of Edward Elgar’s compositions (like that of are the ‘Pomp and Circumstance Marches’) are likely to be replaced with more prosaic and somber music in the next few months for both leaders. The loosely-worded communiqué may have served the purpose of a few nice photo opportunities as the two Presidents signed it in front of an army of cameramen and photographers. The North Korean leader was rather taciturn after that and left almost in a hurry, while Donald Trump was enjoying the limelight for more than an hour answering questions, or ducking them (among others the repeated ones on human right sins in North Korea). The South Koreans welcomed the outcome of the meeting; the Japanese were more guarded, especially about the suspension of the ‘war games’; while the Chinese indicated that they would like to take part in the further talks on matters of ‘special interest’ to them. June 12, 2018 was Presidents Donald Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s; the real question is whose days will be June 13 and the ones after that. Tamás Magyarics is a foreign policy analyst

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WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY JOYCE N. BOGHOSIAN

The world saw one of the most spectacular performances on the international stage in Singapore on June 12th. The theatrics and the antics were not that new: the two protagonists had perfected their performances for some time before the ‘historical’ meeting, and they did not really let the onlookers down. The expectations were high and, in fact, it would have been a mission impossible to fulfill them for several reasons.

peninsula, which is a laudable goal, but – surprise, surprise – the devil is in the details. And these details are ‘known unknowns’ to borrow former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s maxim. On the one hand, there is no time frame for the dismantling of the North Koreans nukes and the accompanying missile program and, on the other one, it does not say a word about the U.S. nuclear forces in South Korea – which, by the way, are there to deter not only the northern neighbor, but the southern neighbor, as well. The only specific promise in the context of the military balance in the region was made by Donald Trump in his press conference held after the meeting. The American President indicated that the joint U.S-South Korean ‘war games’ will be discontinued – during the follow-up talks on the nukes. This statement raised eyebrows in Seoul and Tokyo, but a benign interpretation is that it makes Pyongyang interested in further and meaningful talks.

photo by OFFICIAL

BY TAMÁS MAGYARICS


witty leaks WITTY

IN THIS SERIES, DIPLOMATS SHARE PERSONAL ACCOUNTS OF THEIR EXPERIENCES ON “EXCURSIONS” into Hungarian culture, art, gastronomy & scenery.

LE A K S

A DIPLOMATIC CHILDHOOD

AN ENRICHING EXPERIENCE FOR KIDS AND PARENTS ALIKE BY CANADIAN AMBASSADOR ISABELLE POUPART

As parents, my husband and I have also strived to ensure that our daughter felt right ‘at home’, wherever we lived. After Brussels, Ottawa and Vienna, home is now Budapest and we are taking full advantage of what Hungary has to offer when it comes to spending quality time together – be it through regular visits at the Budapest Zoo (a clear favorite!), enjoying a day out on the shores of beautiful Lake Balaton or going a bit further afield to explore the natural beauty of the puszta at the Hortobágy National Park.

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COURTESY OF THE EMBASSY OF CANADA

For the past two years, I have had the great privilege to serve as the Ambassador of Canada to Hungary, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. My husband is a former German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the OSCE. Given our career choices, our daughter is living a diplomatic childhood, with all the opportunities but also some of the challenges it offers. Many diplomatic children end up following in their father’s and, more and more, mother’s footsteps. Others settle in their home country, never wanting to see a moving truck ever again. Caroline is six-years old, and she has already lived in four different countries. She is fluent in French and German, her English is improving by the day – and her Hungarian is much better than ours! Her best school friends at the Lycée français de Budapest are from China, Hungary and Morocco. Such circumstances are, of course, not uncommon for diplomatic children (and many friends and colleagues could tell similar stories), but they still require a good dose of adaptability – on the part of the entire family! To help with our transition from Vienna to Budapest in the summer of 2016, my husband suggested that we buy a dog for Caroline (then 4), and by pure coincidence, he met a breeder from Siófok, a town by Lake Balaton. All truth be said, I did not meet this idea with unbounded enthusiasm, but it turned out that our Hungarian teckel, Borshika (or Pepper Corn, due to her dark color at birth), has been and will be for years to come a wonderful and constant companion for Caroline – ensuring a stable presence in a sometimes unsettling life.

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A few weeks after we moved to Budapest, my husband found out by chance that the former stables of the Hungarian Horseguards were located a mere five-minute away from our Residence. By then, Caroline had already demonstrated a keen interest in riding and she now benefits twice a week from the wellestablished Hungarian equestrian tradition. She is quickly becoming a good rider. No doubt seeing the Richter family in action at the Hungarian National Circus, or visiting the Lázár farm near Gödöllő, has been a further source of inspiration. During my previous posting as Canada’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE in Vienna, Caroline was less exposed to my work as a diplomat given the specific dynamic of multilateral work, but she had heard enough stories around our dinner table to decide one day to play the Ambassador. Sitting at an imaginary computer, she started typing furiously, turning to me to ask for which country I needed a visa. She then announced that the visa would be ready only the following day (very quick service!) since she had to deliver a speech at the Hofburg in the meantime. We had a good laugh. But her first real diplomatic moment came on October 3, 2016 on the occasion of the presentation of my credentials to the President of Hungary, His Excellency János Áder. Officially part of the Canadian Delegation attending what is a very impressive ceremony combining military pomp and state protocol, Caroline was introduced to and shook the hand of the President as if this was the most natural thing of the world. This is now a

precious memory we share as a family. While many diplomatic events are clearly not intended for children whose patience can be limited, we take Caroline along (with the host’s permission!) as often as we can, especially during the week-end and when animals are part of the mix. One such occasion was the Diplomat’s Polo Cup held at the Hungarian Polo Club in Tabajd in partnership with the Embassy of Argentina. More recently, I took Caroline to the end-of-year show of the Hungarian National Circus School, staged by the Artistic Director of the famous Montreal-based circus company ‘Les 7 doigts’, Samuel Tétreault. Of note, this very poetic, yet highly technical show will be presented to the public later this summer as part of the Sziget Festival. For me as a representative of Canada, it is particularly exciting when Caroline attends events with a decidedly Canadian flavor. She cheered on the Canadian national hockey team when it played against the Hungarian team in Budapest in 2017 (for the record, Canada prevailed in the end but Hungary scored first and put up a good fight). She had her first maple syrup pancakes at the ‘Cabane à sucre’ event organized at the Cafe Dumas/ French Institute as part of last year’s celebrations of Francophonie Month in Hungary. And she is always happy to join us at the annual Canada Day reception, where her special task is to draw the name of the winner of the tombola. However, diplomatic children are not the only beneficiaries in this story. I am convinced that other diplomatic parents will agree with me when I say that living abroad as a family is a very enriching experience as one sees things not only through his or her own eyes but also through the eyes of children and discovers many places they would not have otherwise known about. As a diplomat, I am also constantly inspired by my daughter in my daily work because she makes me a better person. Thanks to her love for nature and for the animals (all of them!), I am more strongly committed to the protection of the environment and convinced of the need to handover to future generations a planet in better health, from fighting climate change to limiting oceans’ plastic pollution. This year, we have devoted specific efforts to make all the Embassy’s events more bio-friendly, notably by refraining from using non-recyclable items. Granted, I was a convinced feminist well before I had a child due to the fact that my own parents brought us up, my brother and I, in a very equal and supportive environment, but being a parent has made me even more convinced of the need to make gender inequality history (which was a key theme at the recent G7 Summit hosted by Canada in Charlevoix) and to ensure that boys and girls alike are provided with equal opportunities, including good educations, to realize their dreams. In this pursuit, I am helped by a wonderful rolemodel: Canada’s Governor General, her Excellency the Right Honorable Julie Payette, who flew two missions in space and became Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency. She is living proof that sky is not the limit after all – something I hope my daughter will always remember, whether she chooses to become a diplomat or not.

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society Albanian Presidential Reception In order to honor the President of Albania, Ilir Meta on his visit to Hungary this June, the Ambassador of the Republic of Albania, Arian Spasse, hosted a reception in the garden of the Embassy at Heroes Square. At the event, the honorary consul of Albania in Hungary, Avnija Hafuzi received a presidential recognition.

National Day of Italy On the occasion of the Italian National Day, the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Hungary, Massimo Rustico welcomed guests to the Várkert Bazaar event center in Budapest for a reception. The event commemorated the day – on June 2, 1946 – when Italians decided in a referendum to abandon the monarchy and establish a republic.

Danish Midsummer Party Some 250 guests gathered in the garden of the residence, in the Buda Hills, of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Hungary, Kirsten Geelan for a Midsummer Party reception. Fellow diplomats, members of the Danish community in Hungary and others were treated to Danish seafood specialties.

Budapest Business Party As in the previous years, the Budapest Business Party, organized by the Italian ITL Group, took place on the Európa Boat on the Danube with the sights of downtown Budapest in view. ITL Group owner, Alessandro Farina said he was glad to bring Budapest’s vibrant international community together, by providing an occasion to make and reinforce contacts. The event was supported by Diplomacy&Trade as a media partner.

Queen’s Birthday Party The Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Iain Lindsay, welcomed guests to a reception in the garden of his residence in the Buda Hills this June to celebrate the 92nd birthday of Queen Elisabeth II.

Croatia Statehood Day The Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Hungary, Dr. Mladen Andrlić, welcomed guests to a reception at the Museum of Military History in the Buda Castle to celebrate the Day of Croatian Statehood and, at the same time, the 5th anniversary of Croatia joining the European Union.

AzeriTurkish Exhibition

Philippine Independence Day On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, the Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Hungary, Maria Fe T. Pangilinan hosted a reception at the Museum of Military History in the Buda Castle. The program included a musical performance featuring ‘The Nightingales’ from the Philippines.

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HARANGOZÓ

In celebration of Azerbaijan’s 100th anniversary, an exhibition ‘Hun-Turkish Symbols and Emblems from East to West’ by popular painter and architect Ilham Enveroglu, was opened in the Turkish cultural institute (Yunus Emre Enstitüsü) in Budapest this June. The opening event was attended by Azeri Ambassador Vilayat Guliyev and Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Akif Oktay.

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society The Day of Portugal The Ambassador of the Republic of Portugal to Hungary, Maria José Morais Pires invited guests to the Residence of the Embassy in the Buda Hills celebrate the Day of Portugal and the Portuguese Communities. The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on June 10, 1580.

The Day of Russia The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Hungary, Vladimir Sergeev welcomed guests to a reception at the Russian Embassy in Budapest to celebrate Russia Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) on June 12, 1990.

Canada Day The Canadian Ambassador to Hungary, Isabelle Poupart hosted a reception in the Festetics Palace in downtown Budapest on the occasion of Canada Day that celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867 when the Constitution Act came into force, unifying the country. The event showcased Toronto, a world-class business and tourism destination.

New Ambassadors

Three new ambassadors accredited to Hungary presented their credentials to Hungarian President János Áder this June at the Sándor Palace in the Buda Castle (pictured from left to right): Virginia Hesse from the Republic of Ghana, David B. Cornstein from the United States of America and Anunciada Fernández de Córdova from the Kingdom of Spain.

Indian Festival and Yoga Day Farewell to Szilveszter Bus

The inauguration ceremony of 4th International Day of Yoga and 3rd Ganga-Danube Festival took place in the Urania movie theater in Budapest at the end of June with the participation of the Ambassador of the Republic of India to Hungary, Rahul Chhabra.

Slovenia Statehood Day

Farewell to the Finnish Ambassador

photos by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Hungary, Jakkrit Srivali held a farewell reception at his residence for Szilveszter Bus who is going to be the new Hungarian Ambassador in Thailand.

On the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the proclamation of the country's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Hungary, Robert Kokalj hosted a reception at the recently opened Lóvasút (Horse Tramway) Cultural and event center in the Buda Hills.

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The Ambassador of Finland, Petri Tuomi-Nikula is leaving his post in Budapest. On this occasion, he held a farewell reception at his residence on Gellért Hill. In his speech, he thanked his embassy staff and all the partners he has worked with since the beginning of his tenure in February 2016.

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business

ALL-STAGE SUSTAINABILITY

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT AND FACILITY MANAGEMENT IS A COMBINED OPERATION AT HORIZON DEVELOPMENT

This June, the National Association of Facility Management, Building Operation and Maintenance Service Providers (LEO) held a professional event, presenting the first publication of ‘FM Benchmarking’ brochure that provides assistance to FM companies with measuring facility management processes. As was announced at the business breakfast, a European-level benchmarking brochure, based on Hungarian questionnaire and model, will also be prepared, with data from LEOmembers also to be incorporated into that European study. In addition, the advocacy organization signed a co-operation agreement with the Institute of Continuing Engineering Education at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics enabling old and new staff working in facility management to participate in world-class education and further training. LEO Chairman József Schmidt highlighted that the Institute of Continuing Engineering Education was founded nearly 80 years ago, and the education cooperation signed with them would be of great significance for the entire industry, positively impacting the general standard of operational services. He adds that “with our niche expertise in downtown Budapest developments, our top priority when selecting a new project is to find an ideal city center location, where both the restoration of heritage buildings and creating new architectural value is much appreciated by tenants and users. Other proven locations – such as the Váci Corridor and the 11th district – have also entered our development map with their excellent development potential and location attributes. When it comes to the relationship between our development and PM/FM activities, we continuously work towards incorporating our learnings into our system, perfecting our technical content, implementing smart solutions available in the evolving area of PropTech, and becoming an operator of choice on the market.”

are generally located in downtown Budapest. The exclusive location with its treasured heritage environment obliges the developer to deliver only top-quality projects in the area.

Great potential Property development is a booming business right now, but more and more people would like to know how long this boom is to last. Attila Kovács says that “as the managing partner of a development company that has been working with the same dedication and priorities throughout the good times and the bad (during the last one and a half decades), our firm belief in continuous growth is unchanged. The proportion of the types of properties to be developed might slightly change, but we still see great potential in the Hungarian market both in the short and medium term.” His lecture at the LEO event focused on the connection between property development and facility management. “I emphasized our unique position on the market with our clear advantage of being able to plan our buildings knowing that we will also operate them. We believe in higher upfront investments, and hence, we purchase world-class equipment that is more expensive but has proven to be easier to handle and maintain in the long run.”

Sustainability as a mindset Horizon Development has several award-winning developments in downtown Budapest that are environmentally sustainable. Attila Kovács is of the opinion that this consideration is very important both for the company and its clients. “Environmental consciousness – as expressed and proven by the LEED/ BREEAM certifications of our developments – is becoming a basic criterion and a clear requirement on clients’ agendas when choosing a future place of work, commercial activity or living. Sustainability, however, is not only a great characteristic of our buildings in their final, operational phase, but also our mindset and way of managing the complete project from site selection and planning to construction and property management. This all-stage sustainability is the guarantee that each and every phase of Horizon Development’s project is characterized by this responsible attitude towards the future,” he concludes.

Combined operation At Horizon Development, property development and facility management is a combined operation. According to the Managing Partner, “in line with the complex way we look at a building, we also integrate property and facility management into the process. The PM and FM teams are not only well-coordinated in their actions but also have a joint vision of maximizing tenant satisfaction, by offering an integrated service and turning our buildings into jewel boxes in Budapest.”

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DEVELOPMENT, OLIVÉR HARGITAY

Facility Management, Building Operation and Maintenance Service Providers in Hungary “as we see a clear benefit in being part of this network of PM/FM know-how.” He points out that his company has developed premium properties including Eiffel Palace (2013), Váci 1 (2016) and Szervita Square Building (ongoing see picture). Horizon Development properties

photos by HORIZON

As part of the June program, Attila Kovács MRICS, Managing Partner of Horizon Development presented his insights into the advantages of combining premium property and building management services. He tells Diplomacy&Trade that Horizon Development is considering becoming a member of the National Association of


MOTORSPORT comes DOWNTOWN RED BULL AIR RACE HOSTED BY BUDAPEST FOR THE 12TH TIME THIS YEAR

“I THINK IT HAS BEEN A G R E AT J O U R N E Y O V E R THE YEARS. THE RACE ITSELF S TA R T E D I N 2 0 0 3 AT T W O V E N U E S : I N Z E LT W E G , A U S T R I A A N D H E R E I N H U N G A R Y, JUST OUTSIDE BUDAPEST. I F YO U LO O K AT H O W T H E S E R I E S H A S D E V E LO P E D , I THINK IT IS AMAZING TO SEE THE STEEP GROWTH.” C L E M EN S JA E G E R , the Director of Series at the Red Bull Air Race tells Diplomacy&Trade about the overall experience from the perspective of the organizers.

“If you look at the pictures from the beginning, you can see well-known pilots from the world of aerobatics gathering here for the first race because they wanted to have something measurable – not like in aerobatics when there are just judges deciding who the winner is and who is flying the most accurately. They wanted to have a timed race and this is the idea behind the whole Red Bull Air Race. Well-known Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei, the originator of the idea, designed the first pylons and racetracks together with Red Bull. At the beginning, none of the pilots had a plane designed specifically for air racing. It is quite different nowadays. For example, professors from universities all over the world design software to evaluate flying conditions and determine the ideal race lines for the pilots. For instance, Paul

From the idea to world series Jaeger recalls that at the time when Péter Besenyei approached Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, the energy drink company was open for new developments in the sports area. “Péter, who had already been associated with Red Bull, presented the idea and then developed it together with Red Bull. As you know, Mr. Mateschitz is an aviation enthusiast, himself, so, when a person like Péter Besenyei, who has a great reputation all over the world, puts forward the idea and presents it in the way he did, people just have to love the idea – so did Mr. Mateschitz. This is how the competition was conceived and it became a motorsports series with races

photos by JOERG

MITTER / RED BULL CONTENT POOL, DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

Motorsport with a global following

Bonhomme, then three time aerobatics world champion (and later three times Red Bull Air Race World Champion), arrived at the first race with his Sukhoi plane, not at all built for racing. But, over the years, it all evolved and we now have planes that are designed specifically for racing. For the company Red Bull, I believe, it has also been a great experience to be able to initiate this sport and turn it into what it is now: a worldwide series and recognized motorsport with a global following. So, it has been a pretty exciting journey since 2003,” the Director of Series highlights.

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in spectacular locations like Budapest, watched by tens of thousands of people.” 



At home in Budapest

Last year, Clemens Jaeger was quoted as saying that “the entire Air Race team is very fond of the Hungarian site.” Now, looking out the windows of the Hotel Hilton overlooking the Danube from the Castle Hill, he justifies that by pointing at the pylons between the Chain Bridge and Elizabeth Bridge: “It is characteristic for the Hungarian race that pilots fly under the Chain Bridge before climbing into the actual racetrack. In other venues, the competitors descend into the racetrack. That is one thing. Then, of course, racing, in the heart of a European capital with the Parliament building as a backdrop and over hundred thousand people lining both sides of the Danube, is something very special. We are able to bring the sport to the people – that is one of the great things about this air race. In other motorsports, you have to go away from the city to be able to see the competition, here, the motorsport comes right into the city center.” According to the Director of Series, “given the appreciation by the local people here, the Red Bull Air Race is kind of at home in Budapest, it is like coming home – all the race teams and the Red Bull Air Race team love to be here, to be in touch with the Hungarian fans and our partners.”

Hungary as a host Clemens Jaeger points out that the organization has a very strong and trustful relationship with the local organizers, the local authorities and,

> CLEMENS JAEGER TH E D I R ECTOR OF S ER I ES AT TH E R ED B U LL A I R R A CE

of course, with the Budapest local municipality, because “being somewhere so many times, we have developed a real relationship with them. The Red Bull Air Race is a part of every summer in Budapest, the area expects us, they wait for the race to arrive again. Lots of people follow us all throughout the year, watching the races on television where Budapest also pops up on the screens of audiences in different countries. This, of course, is a plus for the city, as well. It is one of our iconic stops and thus, part of our global marketing campaign appearing in all our TV broadcasts shown in more than 170 countries all over the world. This is a great benefit for the city and one of the reasons why they host us here.” This is the 12th time, since the year 2003, that the Red Bull Air Race is hosted in Budapest. “The public event is organized by our local partner, and thus, everything is purchased locally. All the participating companies are from Hungary and they supply everything that the local partner needs to set up the event for tens of thousands of people. We are just putting the sport in the center and everything else is purchased locally. Of course, we also purchase locally – services like the security, for instance. The event attracts a lot of people. It is not only the Hungarian fans turning out at the race, thousands of people from the Czech Republic also arrive to watch the Czech pilots and the same is true for people from Austria and other countries: a lot of them are coming to Budapest just for the race. This has an additional impact on tourism,” Clemens Jaeger concludes.

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culture

ONE PAINTER, THREE EXHIBITIONS SAM HAVADTOY EXHIBITS IN HUNGARY

and spanning 13 rooms, takes visitors on a virtual tour of the vibrant NYC art scene, showcasing Havadtoy’s friendships and collaborations with the era’s iconic figures. According to the exhibition’s curator, Attila Nemes, contemporary American art pieces from the Ludwig Museum’s own collection are also on show, as well as some of Havadtoy’s most well-known masterpieces including the Fiat 500 wrapped in lace and one of his latest works, a huge ducky carpet that will be exhibited in Hungary for the first time.

pair of gloves, which are the opening pieces of the exhibition. “I was so enchanted by these tiny objects that I could not touch them for a long time. I looked at them almost as relics. I believe, the lives of those women who made these delicate pieces are somehow palpably woven within,” the artist notes. His paintings each have a story behind them, as Havadtoy often wrote his memoirs and confessions underneath the lace and paint layers. “The canvas is wrapped in a layer of lace and more paint until it hardens into a scabrous, protective shell. This way my words remain in secret, buried forever under gentle lace and gentle shades,” he says, adding that writing down his feelings and frustrations was a way of healing from depression. The Ferenczy Museum Center will also showcase the small bronze parchment of the iconic lacecovered Fiat 500. Finally, the exhibition that will open on July 16 at the Kálmán Makláry Fine Art Gallery in Budapest, will mainly present the artist's graphic works: prints of various periods, made with a new collage technique.

Three different themed Havadtoy exhibitions open in Hungary in July, enabling visitors to get a full picture of the creative phases of the world-famous painter of Hungarian origins. Being Yoko Ono’s closest companion for 20 years, after the death of her husband John Lennon, contemporary artist Sam Havadtoy (aka Havadtőy Sámuel) has earned a reputation that he never actually wanted. Son of a Hungarian watchmaker, Havadtoy comes from an old Transylvanian family. Born in London, raised in Hungary, he is a true cosmopolitan, who left the old continent for the United States. He worked as

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an antiques dealer and interior designer for 28 years in New York City, and became friend of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, George Condo and Donald Baechler. (The artist returned to Hungary in 2000, in the midst of his breakup with Ono.)

Exhibition at the LUMÚ Havadtoy arrived in New York in 1972. The exhibition titled ‘Knight Moves’, opening at Budapest’s Ludwig Museum on July 13, J U L Y

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A day after Havadtoy’s exhibition opens at the Ludwig Museum, comes the opening of ‘Memory of Love’, presenting the most recent paintings and sculptures of the artist who created most of these pieces in Szentendre, and therefore chose this picturesque town to host the exhibition. His works will be exhibited at the Ferenczy Museum, as part of the ‘Artists of Szentendre’ series launched two years ago. The theme of this exhibition is ‘lace’, which has become the defining trademark of Havadtoy. The artist has been collecting pieces of lace for decades, for their tangible beauty, their endlessly varied form and the life stories of those unknown women who made them. Many of these laces were gifts he received, such as the

PICTURES, ISTVÁN SLEZÁK

Exhibition at the Ferenczy Museum Center


summertime easy living

OUTDOOR DINING RECOMMENDATIONS

CORINTHIA HOTEL BUDAPEST – SKY LOUNGE

BISTRO FINE 1061 Budapest, Andrássy út 8 • +36 1 611 7090

1073 Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 43-49 • +36 1 479 4000 budapest@corinthia.com • www.corinthia.com/budapest

IN THE HEART OF THE CITY, ON ANDRÁSSY AVENUE, Bistro Fine is a casual, friendly, yet sophisticated place to meet with friends or business partners, for a tasty Business lunch or a nice dinner. You can also pop in after work for a glass of wine with light tapas. Bistro fine focuses on creativity and a colorful world of flavors. Visit Bistro Fine and enjoy diverse cuisine!

WATCH THE FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 IN STYLE, in the the roof garden of Corinthia Hotel Budapest’s Grand Ballroom Terrace! Enjoy live streaming of the games in the comfort of a specially-created lounge, featuring everything a fan might need, including tubs of ice-cold beer, table football, World Cup cocktails, delicious grilled dishes and hamburgers as well as an a la carte menu from the hotel’s executive chef Péter Bolyki.

photos by WWW.TAMASPAL.HU,

CORINTHIA HOTEL BUDAPEST, DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

hello@bistrofine.hu • www.bistrofine.hu

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FEZEN

JULY 28-28, SZÉKESFEHÉRVÁR This 4-day festival in Székesfehérvár is mostly a hardcore event, with The Prodigy, DJ Bobo, Pitbull, Amberjack, Enter Shikari, Richie Kotchen, the Ministry, the Moby Dick as well as Ákos and Anna and the Barbies on stage. Fezen is being held for the 22nd time this year. (The name Fezen is an acronym of Fehérvári Zenei Napok, which translates as Music Days of Fehérvár.) www.fezen.hu

11TH ÖRDÖGKATLAN FESTIVAL

JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, NEAR PÉCS This pan-art festival has selected several locations for its events, namely Nagyharsány, Kisharsány, Palkonya and Vylyan. As in the past, the festival will highlight art from basket weaving to music, theater, literary and fine art. Open-air concerts and shows will be performed by Ferenc Snétberger, the Csík Ensemble featuring Gábor Presser, the Belgian Circus Marcel, k2, the TranzDanz, Boban Marcovic Orchestra & Gabi Tóth, PASO, 30Y, Óriás, Kiscsillag, Ivyz, Quimby, Sorbonne Sexual, Slam Poetry, Like a Rolling Stone, Budapest Bár, Wombo, Anima Sound System, the Kerekes Band, Félix Lajkó and many more. www.ordogkatlan.hu

FRIDA KAHLO EXHIBITION

EVENING CONCERTS AT THE ZOO

UNTIL AUGUST 22, BUDAPEST ZOO The annual summer concert series at Budapest’s Zoo kicks off in July staging light jazz, pop and klezmer concerts at the Main Entrance Square. Before the concerts begin, concert goers may take a walk in the Zoo that opens for these evening events at 7PM.

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July 11 – Budapest Klezmer Band – The Joy of Klezmer July 18 – Budapest Jazz Orchestra - Ella Fitzgerald, the Great Dame of Jazz July 25 – Best of GESZTI August 1 – 30 Years of PA-DÖ-DŐ with Mariann Falusi and Györgyi Lang August 8 – The Hot Jazz Band with Amadinda August 15 – Budapest Bar August 22 – Zoo Dance Party with the MADARAK Party Band Further information: www.zoobudapest.com/concerts

COURTESY OF BUDAPEST ZOO, GÁBOR VETŐ, ERIK MEZA/JAVIER OTAOLA

UNTIL NOVEMBER 4, HUNGARIAN NATIONAL GALLERY Probably the most defining and iconic female artist of the 20th century, Frida Kahlo is the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery throughout the summer of 2018. Thanks to the kind generosity of the Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City, and several other important Mexican collections, more than thirty pieces by the artist will be on show in Budapest. The selection features the artist’s hallmark self-portraits, in addition to such major works as her very first canvas, painted in 1927. Thru the paintings, portraits, drawings and photographs, works suffused with symbolism, the exhibition offers a glimpse into the evocative, yet physically and mentally tormented inner world of Frida Kahlo, and shows the mythical reality that she experienced and recreated. www.mng.hu

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27TH VAJDAHUNYADVÁR SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL

UNTIL AUGUST 2, VAJDAHUNYAD CASTLE IN CITY PARK Enjoy a great selection of classical, gipsy, swing and klezmer music, world hits and bar mood pop music, in the very heart of Budapest, at a beautiful, enchanting venue, every Monday and Thursday throughout July. July 5 MÁV Symphony Orchestra: Gala Night (conducted by Suhan Ji from South-Korean) July 9 Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra: Vivaldi, Verdi, Tchaikovski July 12 MÁV Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven Night July 16 Sabbathsong Klezmer Band: Soundtracks, Klezmer and Opera July 19 Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra: Mozart Night July 23 Musica Sonora Chamber Orchestra: Bach, Vivaldi, Schubert July 26 Budapest Strings Chamber Orchestra: Baroque Night July 30 Budapest Bar August 2 The 100-member Gypsy Orchestra www.vajdahunyad.hu

BÉJART BALLET LAUSANNE: THE MAGIC FLUTE CLASSICAL BALLET

JULY 28, MARGARET ISLAND OPEN-AIR STAGE Following their popular performance last year, the highly innovative ballet troupe Béjart Ballet Lausanne will return to Margaret Island, staging Mozart’s most popular work, the magnificent The Magic Flute. The choreography was created in 1981 by the company’s founder Maurice Béjart, whose original concept has been renewed for by the ballet company’s current leader Gil Roman, a former Béjart-student. Right from the beginning, the repertoire of Béjart Ballet has included performances with clear, yet ravishingly designed and atmospheric choreographies, which are uniquely linked with the classical and innovative dance elements their productions are based on "It may seem like a strange venture to dance a full opera. But (as I have frequently experienced) singing is the most mesmerizing accompaniment to the dance; not to mention that the choreographer’s intentions reaches over the head of realism, extending the ennobling concept of musical expression. While staging The Magic Flute, I had no intention to add any personal addition or message to a perfect piece of art. I was more intent on giving all my attention to listening to the music, reading the libretto, and translating both for myself." (Maurice Béjart) The Magic Flute performance of Béjart Ballet Lausanne will be seen for the first time in Hungary on the invitation of the Open-Air Theatre, part of the Budapest Summer Festival, for one night only. www.szabadter.hu

photos by

GREGORY BATARDON, LIVE NATION, LÁSZLÓ EMMER, ZAK MAUGER/LAT IMAGES - MOTORSPORT IMAGES

VALLEY OF ARTS

JULY 20 - 29, KÁLI-MEDENCE (APPROX. 150 KM FROM BUDAPEST) Művészetek Völgye (Valley of the Arts) takes place near the northern shore of Lake Balaton in a number of tiny villages:Kapolcs, Taliándörögd and Vigántpetend. Hungary's largest multi-art festival welcomes visitors for the 28th year with 26 stages and 40 exhibition yards. The secret of its constantly growing popularity lies in its liberated atmosphere, according to most visitors. This year’s festival will feature fairs and family programs, poetry and movie nights, yoga and cooking workshops, in addition to a number of blues, folk, pop, rock and jazz concerts. Both Hungarian bands and international performers will step on stage, such as Rebecca Ferguson, Jamese, the Carbonfools, Useme, The Asian Dub Foundation, Mörk, the Mary Popkids, Ivan & the Parazol, the Bagossy Brothers Company, De-Phazz, The Immigrants, Muzsikás, Iamyank, the Maneuver Maneuver and the I am Soyuz, to name only a few. www.muveszetekvolgye.hu

HUNGARIAN F1 GRAND PRIX 2018

JULY 27-29, MOGYORÓD The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix takes place at Hungaroring (often referred to as the citadel of motor sports) just east of Budapest. The race has become a mainstay of the racing calendar. Due to the nature of the track (narrow, twisty and often dusty because of underuse), the Hungarian Grand Prix is compared to the Monaco races, with many cars often following one another, unable to pass. The F1 Grand Prix in Budapest has been organized every year since 1986, and each year, hotels, apartments and restaurants are filled with people coming to Hungary to see and experience the spectacular event. www.formula1.com

JUDAS PRIEST

JULY 24, PAPP LÁSZLÓ BUDAPEST SPORTARÉNA There are only a select number of bands that have accomplished what Judas Priest has throughout their career or that have been such an influence on a wide variety of bands. Singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis began their European tour in June in support of their highly-anticipated new album, Firepower. www.livenation.hu

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gastronomy locals at lunchtime but they still need to balance out the evenings’ 20% vs. 80% ratio. “To target local Hungarians, last year we were present at Budapest’s biggest gastro and wine fests such as Rosalia, the Budapest Wine Festival (in the castle) and the Gourmet Fest. Our stands were very popular, people were curious and we welcomed many back in the restaurant, soon after the fests. It does take time to build a strong community of returning guests, especially with the competition being so high in downtown Budapest.”

Thinking local The chef told me that he and his team of eight who are responsible for the restaurant and the Club Lounge are very focused when creating the menu that appeals to all. “For example, when one looks at our menu, he understands straight away what will be on the plate. We don’t use fancy words that nobody even understands. As we are a very meat-and-wine focused restaurant, the essentials are simple, seasonal ingredients, of the greatest quality, presented artistically and beautifully.” As for the ingredients, Róbert said he is on a mission to find reliable Hungarian farmers. The fact that prior to his current position, he worked in one of the best restaurants in the Hungarian countryside, Kistücsök in Balatonszemes has helped him to gain not only culinary knowledge but also allowed him to interact with suppliers themselves. He has found the best mangalitza in Somogy county, but for vegetables, he continues to struggle to find reliable Hungarian sources, in terms of consistency and volume. According to the chef, summer-season dishes at DSK are prepared with fresh, delicious and dominantly Hungarian ingredients.

UNDERSTANDING THE PALATE OF MY GUESTS INTERVIEW WITH CHEF DE CUISINE RÓBERT SUGÁR OF DEÁK ST. KITCHEN BY RÉKA A. FRANCISCK

“Hungarian wine bar and grill serving world famous award winning wines and international comfort favorites from local ingredients with a real Budapest twist,” reads the official teaser of Deák Street Kitchen (or as many call it, DSK), summarizing the main features and characteristics of the restaurant that opened in spring 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest. I sat down with the restaurant’s chef Róbert Sugár to ask him about his first two years’ experiences, and about DSK’s summer menu introduced only a few days earlier. It was difficult though, to talk about anything summer-related, when outside there was the ugliest weather with pouring rain and less than 12 C degrees – a stark contrast to the beauty and warmth of the restaurant’s interior design. I admired the carefully laid wooden floors, smooth leather seating and warm lighting, when Róbert brought me a coffee and noted that none of these elements were present when he first entered the building for his job interview.

Open and inviting “Reconstruction was still under way. At that point, it was very challenging to imagine the final look of the place.” I learned from him that the interior was designed by Mark Bithrey &

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Roisin Reilly from ’B3 Designers’ who mixed bold, masculine undertones of deep rich leather seating, walnut furniture and Hungarian point timber flooring with brighter details like the rose gold trim on the lighting and furnishings and the antiqued mirror paneling around the room, for a truly sophisticated look. Carefully selected and curated historical Hungarian artwork and imagery (photographs and prints with a hint of humor) adorn the walls while the open show kitchen adds drama and liveliness to the space. “One of the main successes of the restaurant’s design is its accessibility from the street, opening out onto its namesake, Deák Street, also referred to as Budapest’s ‘Fashion’ street.

Winning concept The designers were asked to create a welcoming restaurant with an independent feel,” the chef said. With this vision, The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest moved away from the idea of offering ‘fine dining to hotel residents, exclusively’ because “it was pointless to focus on hotel residents with an in-house restaurant.” “DSK was always dreamed to be full of locals and tourists alike who feel comfortable here. I believe we managed to remain true to the original concept and opened a contemporary, modern grill bar and bistro that offers a menu that does not cost an arm and leg.” Róbert revealed that the hotel has an influx of J U L Y

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For a cool treat, he suggested the chilled cucumber and yogurt soup with Osetra caviar and radish, and for a main course, either the succulent grilled Wagyu short rib with pea variations and sausage foam, or the crispy-yet-tender confit duck leg with caramelized cabbage pasta and roasted garlic jus. According to him, a few items on the menu are mandatory year round, such as the gulyás, which is a bestseller, even among Hungarians. Of course, DSK serves this iconic dish a little different from the traditional version (see picture). “Its core is the beef cheek, and the vegetables we add, give a tiny twist to the dish that comes with potato confit and caramelized celery.” According to the chef, it is important to understand the palate of both Hungarians and foreigners, to figure out how far he can go when he wants to give a Hungarian dish a new look or taste, or, the other way round, how to create a Hungarian-inspired burger. “Little things such as adding fermented vegetables to a dish or changing the flavor and texture of only one of the ingredients, is the trick,” he added. Presentation of food at DSK is outstandingly gorgeous – I asked if Róbert was trained by István Pesti, who is considered, by many, to be the chef who creates and presents the most beautiful dishes in Hungary. Róbert smiled and said they had worked together for a year, indeed. Another fond memory was the moment he learned he got the job at The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest. “To be honest, I was in shock for days,” he laughs whole-heartedly. And ever since, he’s been carrying the famous Credo Card (that has guided the employees of The RitzCarlton since its founding and that lists principles such as “serve…even the unexpressed wishes” of guests) in his pocket, with pride.

HARANGOZÓ

The summer menu


gastronomy

JEUNES CHEFS RÔTISSEURS COMPETITION 2018 THE WINNER IS HEADING TAIWAN

On June 7, Hungary’s Chaine Association organized the national selection for the Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs Competition 2018 at the Metro Gastro Academy. Cooks younger than 27 years competed: their task was to create a 3-course menu for the jury of twelve Bernadett Balatoni, Alexandra Pereszlényi, Ráchel Raj, Csaba Ádám, Áron Barka, Péter Bárándy, Lajos Bíró, Andras Gendur, Árpád Győrffy, Laurent Niddam, István Pesti and Krisztián Rácz. Of the 12 young chefs who competed, Erik Kiss from Four Seasons Hotel Budapest was chosen to represent Hungary at the world championship in September in Taiwan. The first runner-up was István Akács from Platán restaurant, Tata, while Imre László from Corinthia Hotel Budapest placed third. Awards and medals were presented at the gala held on June 9 at Budapest’s La Perle Noire.

CONTACT: 1051 Budapest, Dorottya utca 6. www.baraka.hu

DISCOVERING BARAKA Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs With nearly 21,000 members, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an International Association of Gastronomy, now established in 72 countries, that brings together enthusiasts who share the same values of quality, fine dining, the encouragement of the culinary arts and the pleasures of the table. The distinctive character of the association is to bring together amateurs and professionals, from all over the world, whether they are hoteliers, restaurateurs, executive chefs or sommeliers, in the appreciation of fine cuisine. The Hungarian Association was founded in January, 1990. To support the future generation of the catering industry, and to encourage and promote the expertise of young chefs and sommeliers, members of the association organize competitions annually at regional and national levels around the world, leading to the International Final.

photos by DESIGNFOOD

ANTONIO PHOTOGRAPHY, PIXELTASTER, RÉKA FÖLDI

Imagine one of your most pleasant gastronomical journeys where all the flavors, harmony and textures create unique culinary memories. Imagine Budapest’s most exclusive and very first fine dining foodie destination that opened for French-Asian cuisine lovers in 2001. Baraka awaits every curious, enlightened, bon vivant friend and gourmet, who wants to discover the unusual harmony of special tastes from all over the world. Located at the heritage Dorottya Palace in the heart of historic Budapest, a short walk from the five star hotels and the banks of the Danube, Baraka has a classy, relaxed, elegant atmosphere with an open kitchen offering the best gastronomic show in town. “The restaurant’s design is the culmination of our vision and many years of getting to know our guests and their desires. The textures, flavors, and beauty of our dishes leave guests with unforgettable gastronomical memories,” say owners Leora and David Seboek. Baraka takes its drinks as serious as its food. The well-balanced wine list and artisan cocktails make Baraka one of the most well rounded exciting restaurants in Hungary!

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Diplomacy & Trade 2018 July  
Diplomacy & Trade 2018 July  
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