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SEPTEMBER 2017 HUF 1710

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THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR. DIPLOMACY&TRADE’S SPECIAL COMPILATION LOOKS AT THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PAST HALF A CENTURY AND THE BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES AND HUNGARY. SEE MORE

United Kingdom

country

FOCUS

More than a year after the Brexit vote, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Hungary, Iain Lindsay believes relations between Hungary and the UK are stronger. “The political relationship is stronger, the economic relations are stronger, trade is growing, investment is growing,” he tells Diplomacy&Trade in an extensive interview. He also talks about the improving defense cooperation, civic and cultural ties, and the potential post-Brexit status of Hungarian and British individuals and corporate entities.

on pages 14-21

PREPARE TO MEET SUCCESS Business events and social engagements are transformed into the most memorable affairs at this completely redesigned landmark hotel. State-of-the-art mee�ng facili�es accommodate up to 600 and indulgent outdoor spaces set the stage for unique events.

see articles on pages 8-13

The Poor (Oil-Rich) Venezuela

E: sales.budapest@hilton.com T: +36 1 889 6919 W: budapest.hilton.com

Analyzing the roots of Venezuela’s problems, an expert for Diplomacy&Trade mentions not only the dramatic drop in oil prices but also the ideologically driven misguided social engineering introduced by the late Hugo Chávez with his voluntaristic and populist ’Bolivarian Revolution’, a policy followed by the current leader, Nicolás Maduro. see page 22

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letter from the publisher

New conference facilities in the Castle District

Indian natural remedies promoted in Hungary

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The summer is ending, schools are opening and the rush hour traffic is once again straining our senses – all signs that Hungary is back at work! The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that promotes stability and economic cooperation in their region celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation. Our section dedicated to the ASEAN countries features interviews with the ambassadors accredited to Hungary from countries within the association that focus on their aims, achievements and their respective bilateral relations with Hungary.

Our business page calls attention to a new regulation, taking effect next spring, on the protection of personal data and the heavy fines to be imposed for those violating this legislation. Our WittyLeaks column is authored by the Ambassador of India on his country’s natural remedies promoted in Hungary, while our hospitality page presents a new venue for events in the Hungarian capital: a new conference facility in the Castle District. Of course, we also have the usual culinary and program guides, wine and gastronomy offers and society picture compilations.

Peter Freed PUBLISHER

contents Legendary vehicles at the Hungaroring Classic

page 26

05 ON THE RECORD 24 WITTYLEAKS Indian natural remedies in Hungary 06-07 COMPANY BRIEFS 25 SOCIETY 08-13 BRITISH FOCUS Interview with Ambassador Iain Lindsay; 26-27 WHAT’S ON DIT; BCCH; British Business Centre Programs in Budapest

14-21 ASEAN 50 The 50 years of ASEAN; ASEAN and

CINEMA Jameson CineFest

22 ANALYSIS Venezuela in crisis

30-31 WINE & GASTRONOMY Responsible winery management;

Hungary: Millions of opportunities; Interviews with ASEAN Ambassadors; Qatar Airways; Cellum

AND DON’T FORGET

monthly in print - daily on the web

www.dteurope.com

23 BUSINESS The protection of personal data

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29 HOSPITALITY New event facility at Hilton Budapest Wines of the times; Káli Art Inn; The story of watermelon

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, Ágnes Weninger, Rahul Chhabra

ITALIAN FOCUS - COMING SOON

PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS: Efecto Eco/Wikipedia (Cover), Shutterstock.com, 123RF.com, Pixabay.com, Can Stock Photo Inc., Sziget Festval, Zsolt Burger/MFAT, Alteo, Budapest Airport, Hungaroring, Graphisoft Park, 183CreativeStudio, Gunawan Kartapranata/Wikipedia, György Konkoly-Thege, Qatar Airways, Efecto Eco/Wikipedia, Balázs Farkas-Mohi, Embassy of India, Hungaroring Classic, Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas Images, Konok.hu, Zsolt Szigetváry, Tamás Talabér, Hilton Budapest, Watermelon Promotion Board, MTI Photos: Márton Mónus, Zoltán Máthé, Noémi Bruzák

Diplomacy&Trade will present a special Focus on Italian-Hungarian relations on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Hungary. With Ambassador Massimo Rustico, we will discuss the main challenges Italy faces, including the crisis posed by the influx of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean. We will also look at bilateral relations and how the current economic environment affects Italian investors. Tourism and culture will be covered, as well, since Italy is in the Top 10 of countries with the highest number of tourists visiting Hungary and because Hungary is frequented by renowned Italian artists, including performances this year by Ennio Morricone and Andrea Bocelli.

Copyright 2004-2017 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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NEWSSTAND PRICE: HUF 1,710 or EUR 6 - Subscriptions are available for an

annual fee of EUR 72 in Hungary, or EUR 90 to all other destinations. SEND REQUESTS AND INQUIRIES TO DUAX KFT. H-1034 Budapest, Bécsi út 60. TELEPHONE [+36-70] 320-3051 | FAX [+36-1] 350-5660 E-MAIL editor@dteurope.com | ADVERTISING adsales@dteurope.com

We welcome inquires for advertising in this issue. PLEASE CALL TAMÁS VARGA FOR FURTHER INFORMATION +36 209350250 - tvarga@budapestweek.com S E P T E M B E R

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COPIES ARE AVAILABLE AT SELECTED RELAY AND INMEDIO OUTLETS IN MAJOR HUNGARIAN CITIES.

HILTON BUDAPEST, COURTESY OF THE EMBASSY OF INDIA, HUNGARORING CLASSIC, SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The country in focus in this issue of Diplomacy&Trade is the United Kingdom. Ambassador Iain Lindsay believes that British-Hungarian relations will continue to strengthen, even in the post-Brexit period. The British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, the Department of International Trade of the British Embassy and the British Business Centre all work to enhance trade and investment relations between the two countries regardless of what the final Brexit solution may hold. This month’s international analysis looks at Venezuela’s state of affairs; how the leadership of this oil-rich country brought about the chaotic situation in the South American country.

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SZIGET FESTIVAL, SHUTTERSTOCK.COM, 123RF.COM, MÁRTON MÓNUS/MTI

THE 25TH SZIGET FESTIVAL WAS “WONDERFUL AND PEACEFUL”

accumulated a deficit of HUF 816.8 billion by the end of July 2017. Within that, the central budget and Social Security Funds had a deficit of HUF 843.7 billion and HUF 81.8 billion, respectively, while Extra-Budgetary State Funds posted a surplus of HUF 108.7 billion. In the initial seven months of 16, the deficit of the central sub sector totaled HUF 464.8 billion, while there was a deficit of HUF 62.7 billion in July 2016. According to the Ministry, several factors caused the difference in the end-of-July balances of this year and last. On the revenue side, in 2017 VAT and personal income tax revenues were higher, as well as pension fund, health insurance and labor market contributions plus revenues from agricultural land sales. On the expenditure side, payments related to EU-funded projects were as much as HUF 1090 billion, whereas last year HUF 601.7 billion was paid for beneficiaries. Hungary has optimized the system for the disbursement and clearing of EU funding in order to help end-users. Accordingly, aiming to help the timely launch and completion of EU-funded projects, the state budget has disbursed an advance payment for beneficiaries.

The 25th edition of one of Europe's biggest cultural – mainly music – festivals, the Sziget Festival (also called the ‘Island of Freedom’), on Óbuda Island (hence the name), on the Danube River, in the Hungarian capital had a total number of 452,000 visitors from over a hundred countries attending the seven-day event in August 2017. As he takes over the role of founder Károly Gerendai, the CEO of Sziget Cultural Management, Tamás Kádár, promises to make vital changes to the festival next year. In a press release by the festival, he says “the 25th festival is a turning point in Sziget’s life: an era has ended, where we built a unique and popular multicultural festival, differentiating it from other festivals with its amazing atmosphere, cultural diversity, colorful program, high level of services and spectacular visuals. Today, Sziget is seen as a great leader among other festivals and because of this, we also have to change, so we don’t become just one in a million.” The 25th Sziget hosted less Szitizens (festival attendees) than last year’s record-breaking numbers, but still had two sold-out days and more than 450,000 visitors. Kádár thinks that the turnout number could be a combination of many factors including the growing number of Sziget-like festivals and what he calls “an unlucky line-up this year.” Regardless, he says that a wonderful and peaceful festival happened during the seven days. It was especially lucky for a girl from Transylvania who turned out to be Sziget’s 8 millionth visitor: she received a lifetime Sziget pass from Károly Gerendai. This year, Szitizens arrived from more than 100 countries, most of them from The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, but also as remote parts of the world as Australia or Hong Kong. Several Hollywood stars like Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Justin Theroux and Luke Evans were spotted at Sziget, as well. Many performers crossed the ocean only because of their Sziget concert, like Iggy Azalea, The Chainsmokers and Macklemore, who unfortunately was hospitalized after the show. The security system of Sziget was also a success this year: the check-in system, introduced last year, is considered to be a great way to tackle security issues and many festival organizers visiting Sziget showed interest in this new system. The Head of Security also had positive news, the statistics were 30-40% better than last year. Next year, Sziget Festival will be held between the 8th and 15th of August.

12.0% INCREASE IN TOURISM NIGHTS

In June 2017, the number of nights spent by international tourists in Hungary increased by 16% and that of nights spent by domestic tourists increased by 8.8% compared to the previous year year, Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) has reported. International guest turnover grew by 15% and domestic guest turnover by 7.7% measured in tourism nights and adjusted for calendar effects. Gross revenues grew by 22%, at current prices, in accommodation establishments. In June 2017, compared to the same month of the previous year, the number of international tourist arrivals grew by 13% and that of international tourism nights by 16% (to 1.4 million). More than half of the turnover measured in tourism nights was concentrated in Budapest and 16% was at Lake Balaton. Foreign arrivals increased in each of the tourism regions. The number of domestic tourist arrivals increased by 12% and that of domestic tourism nights by 8.8%, approaching 1.5 million. The number of tourism nights significantly increased in most of the tourism regions and by 3.9% at Lake Balaton. Of domestic tourism nights registered at accommodation establishments, Lake Balaton accounted for 30% and the regions of Budapest– Central Danube and Northern Hungary for 13% each. Revenues from accommodation establishments grew more dynamically than tourist arrivals. The total gross revenue of accommodation establishments increased by 22% to HUF 44 billion (about EUR 143 million); within this, accommodation fee revenues increased by 24% (to HUF 27 billion, that is, some EUR 88 million), catering revenues by 17% (to HUF 9 billion, that is, nearly EUR 30 million) and other revenues by 22% (also to HUF 9 billion). There were 3,261 accommodation establishments in Hungary on June 30, 2017, 1.2% more compared to the same date of the previous year. Two-thirds of the rentable 91,000 rooms were available in hotels. The number of available bed-places was nearly 307,000, which was 3.3% less than in the previous year. In January – June 2017, compared to the same period of the previous year, accommodation establishments registered 11% more, i.e. a total of 12.2 million, tourism nights. International guests spent 13% more (6.4 million) and domestic guests 8.3% more (5.8 million) tourism nights in accommodation establishments. Room occupancy in hotels increased by 4.7 percentage points to 55.1%. Accommodation establishments achieved gross revenues of HUF 197 billion (over EUR 640 million), i.e. a total of 17% more at current prices.

BUDGET SURPLUS PRODUCED BY HIGHER TAX REVENUE In the month of July 2017 the state budget posted a surplus of HUF 94.4 billion, thanks mainly to higher-than-expected tax revenues, according to a statement on fiscal data by the Hungarian Ministry of National Economy. The statement says the central sub sector of the state budget w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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Vietnam Brazil Macedonia Mexico Chile Malta Armenia Saudi Arabia Cyprus China Nigeria Germany Iraq Taiwan Cuba Spain Azerbaijan Hungary Zambia Austria Czech Republic Turkey

National day Independence day Independence day Independence day National day National day National day National day National day National day Independence day National day National day National day Independence day National day National day National day Independence day National day National day National day

AMBASSADORS AT THE SZIGET FESTIVAL Representatives from the embassies of eighteen countries and that of the Budapest mission of the European Commission were present at the event organized especially for them, at the quarter century jubilee of the Sziget Festival. The program was attended by – among others – the Ambassadors Isabelle Poupart of Canada, Yosef Amrani of Israel, Iain Lindsay of the United Kingdom, Gajus Scheltema of the Netherlands, José Ángel López Jorrin of Spain and Elisabeth Ellison-Kramer of Austria, as well as the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, David Kostelancik. The diplomats were welcomed by Sziget chief organizer Károly Gerendai at the tent of the Fidelio Theater and Dance Company, a place where Sziget attendees are confronted by taboos like religion, homosexuality, drug use, nudity, migration, etc. Károly Gerendai emphasized that ever since its inception, Sziget is the festival of communion, community and diversity, and this is still the case today. Program Director József Kardos told the Hungarian news agency MTI that it was not the first time in the history of Sziget that this kind of visit was organized for embassies in Budapest, a similar event took place two years ago on the 15th birthday of Magic Mirror Tent. The program director added that diplomats regularly turn up at the annual festival and constantly ask to meet the performers from their home countries. "Sziget offers excellent bilateral relations with embassies and cultural institutions in Budapest, especially those of the European Union, most of which attend the festival. Most of the performers come from the Netherlands, the UK and France," József Kardos said. Kardos also mentioned that the organizers of the Sziget Festival do not have any statistics on the attendance on the art, civil and sports programs outside the mainstream music concerts but these are also full house events. "For us, it is very important that we can present other forms of art at Sziget so that those who come because of music can also encounter a theater, dance or modern circus performance." The diplomats visited the ‘Tent Without Borders’ site, where, just like last year, the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum and the French National Museum of Immigration compiled a joint program, this time focusing on the topics of integration, immigration and inclusion, as well as the culture and integration of the Roma in Hungary. The guests also visited Papageno Classical, Opera and Jazz Stage, where they saw the performance of the French Compagnie Dyptik hiphop dance group.

BALATON UPLANDS AMONG THE BEST PLACES IN EUROPE

Mastercard has compiled a list of 'Europe's hidden treasures' with Balaton Uplands, the area along the northern shore of Lake Balaton (referred to as the “Hungarian sea”), Central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, located in Western Hungary, making it to the list in position 15. As the compilation says the "Balaton-Uplands are Hungary’s version of Provence or Tuscany combining natural beauty and spectacular views of the lake, tiny villages with centuryold whitewashed houses, and picturesque restaurants and guesthouses - all at very reasonable prices."

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company briefs DEVELOPMENT BANK INCREASES THE NUMBER OF INFO POINTS

BUDAPEST AIRPORT, HUNGARORING, GRAPHISOFT PARK, ZOLTÁN MÁTHÉ/MTI, NOÉMI BRUZÁK/MTI photos by

A common characteristic of these financial instruments is that they are to be refunded, and this encourages bidders to make properly evaluated business plans and implement their investment plans efficiently, Mihály Varga stated. In the first half of the program period 2014-2020, the Hungarian government is to publish calls to bid for tenders that cover some 75% of the overall available amount of HUF 750 billion (currently about EUR 2.45 billion). The number of new MFB info points is now 126, the Minister said. By year-end, another 74 points are scheduled to be opened, and thus, the total number of network units through which EU-funded and preferential combined loans can be obtained will be 642. In 2017, the amount of EU funds projected to be channeled to borrowers is some HUF 60 billion (some EUR 195 million): of this, HUF 52 billion is for enterprises and more than HUF 8 billion is for private persons, Mihály Varga noted. The Hungarian Development Bank is a credit institution fully owned by the Hungarian State. Its legal status, tasks and scope of activities are defined by law, its Memorandum of Association and its strategy are approved by the Hungarian Parliament and government. Its core tasks include the provision of funding for growth under favorable terms and conditions to Hungarian enterprises, supporting the long-term development objectives of the state, and obtaining funds from money markets for these purposes.

The Hungarian energy services firm Alteo could launch new projects valued at close to HUF ten billion (some EUR 32 million) as the company's Board of Directors decided on the implementation of three power plants utilizing a total of 18.1 MW of solar power, and approved the acquisition of a 2 MW wind power plant. As the financial website portfolio.hu points out, the solar power plant developments can typically be found in the south of the country with a higher than average number of sunny hours. Alteo signed an agreement to acquire Domaszék2MW Ltd. in February this year and, with this move, created the conditions for launching its first green field photovoltaic development. Alteo, listed in the Standard category on the Budapest Stock Exchange, is focusing primarily on projects and investments in 2017, considering this essential to ensure further growth. Alteo has started to expand its depot-gas (one that accumulates in waste dumps) power plants this year to upgrade its natural gas fired thermal power generation capacities in Sopron, NW Hungary and to implement a research and development project focusing on energy storage in a statesubsidized project. These projects will increase Alteo's investments this year by another HUF 1.5 billion (close to EUR five million). As Alteo CEO Attila Chikán, Jr. commented, “in accordance with our promise to our shareholders, we are constantly looking for expansion opportunities and continuing our investments, this time in solar and wind power.” ALTEO offers complex energy services. Its activities also involve energy generation from renewable energy sources as well as energy trading and energy management. The company says it is developing an energy production portfolio that contains units located close to the customers and designed for utilization of alternative and renewable energy sources and also includes natural gas field, small energy-producing systems. “As electric energy traders, we have our own balancing circle and offer comprehensive and customized high-standard energy services. Our clientele comprises office blocks, business centers, industrial parks and small and middle-sized enterprises. Additionally, ALTEO promotes efficient energy management so that customers may minimize energy costs and environmental impact as well as be able to fully exploit economically viable renewable energy sources.” The ALTEO group currently owns 11 power plants with a total of 36,5 MWe nominal installed electric generating capacity, and 237 MWth nominal installed heat generating capacity.

ZSOLT BURGER/MFAT, 123RF.COM, ALTEO, DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

An investment of EUR 22.9 million by Austria’s Leier Group, affecting six of its nine sites in Hungary, will bring about world-class technological and logistic developments and the creation of 101 new jobs. The aim of the company is not only to modernize production but also to produce more advanced building materials. Under an individual government decision - with the cooperation of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) - the Hungarian government provided a subsidy to promote the investment. According to a statement by HIPA, the largest developmental improvements will take place in the plant at Jánossomorja (on the Austrian border in NW Hungary), which manufactures pre-fabricated crust-walls, crust-ceilings and a series of concrete blocks that can be easily built in when transported to the construction sites. These elements can efficiently replace slow and labor-intensive on-site construction techniques that have already become obsolete. According to their clients' demand, their wall and ceiling elements are transported to the construction site at a level of completion that will also speed up the performance of other trade works. In addition to the increase of manufacturing capacity in Jánossomorja, a new hall will be constructed and fitted with machinery in Mátraderecske (NE Hungary), and the company will procure manufacturing equipment at four other Hungarian locations: Hajdúszoboszló, Devecser, Győr and Pécs. These new improvements will result in the utilization of market possibilities, the satisfaction of customer demands and the provision of more complex services. Furthermore, the installation of high-tech machinery will create even more improved working conditions. The company has been present in Hungary for more than 30 years and has become a market leader in the Hungarian production of building materials. Despite the annual turnover of over EUR 80 million, the staff of a thousand employees and the expense of the improvements in Hungary, Leier remains a traditional family undertaking. The founder's grandchildren undertake more and more of the ownership tasks and, with all that, they have mastered the Hungarian language. In addition, the company keeps re-investing its profits realized in Hungary: in 2016, more than EUR 24 million was spent on investments in this country. Leier also places great emphasis on maintaining contact with experts in the building industry. Therefore, they organize annual trainings on the new types of building elements and technologies for several thousands of designers, contractors and students.

NEW RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS AT ALTEO

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TECHNOLOGICAL AND LOGISTIC DEVELOPMENTS AT LEIER HUNGÁRIA

Lending is gaining more and more importance as the pace of economic growth is accelerating, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the opening of a Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) info point at an OTP Bank branch in the third district of Budapest. The Minister, who is a Member of Parliament from a constituency in that part of the Hungarian capital, noted that MFB info points have been designed to make the allocation of EU funds cheaper, faster and more efficient and, as such, they are one of a kind in the EU. The Government stimulates lending through various incentives, he added. One of the main objectives of these is to get EU funds to enterprises which can most optimally use them in the fastest way possible. A press release by the Ministry for National Economy points out that thanks to the Hungarian Development Bank and other financial institutions participating in the chain of info points, a network could be created that brings loans closer to enterprises, the Minister stressed. It is a sign of success, he said, that the number of companies assisted by the EU’s lending schemes to improve SME competitiveness has reached more than 1,300, to date.

BUDAPEST'S EIFFEL PALACE SOLD AGAIN The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has sold the heritage protected Eiffel Palace, a downtown office building in the vicinity of the Nyugati railway station in the Hungarian capital, to the Luxembourg-based Corpus Sireo Real Estate investment fund. Eiffel Palace – originally constructed in 1893 – was sold twice within the last three years, both times at the best yield in the Hungarian property market. MNB purchased the building directly from the developer (Horizon Development) three years ago in August 2014 at a price of EUR 45.3 million, with an approximate yield of 6.5%, and resold it in August 2017 to Luxembourg-based Corpus Sireo Real Estate investment fund for EUR 53.8 million, at a yield around 5%, generating an almost 20% profit on the deal. According to a statement by Horizon Development, as a result of its well-thought-out architectural concept and business model, the authentically restored and technologically perfected, elegant 125-year-old office building with a continuously enhancing value claimed its

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spot on the international investment map. The former headquarters of Hungarian daily paper ‘Pesti Hírlap’ and Légrády (later Zrínyi) Printshop proved to be the best in Central and Eastern Europe, and even globally, in the categories of heritage restoration, sustainability, real

first divestment within the same year as a highly profitable, valuable investment product. After the second divestment transaction announced last week, it is safe to conclude that Eiffel Palace generated the highest possible yields of all times among Hungarian office buildings, the statement says. In evaluation of what the statement calls ‘the uninterrupted professional and financial success of the project within the past three years’ a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and managing partner of Horizon Development, Attila Kovács is of the opinion that “it is the perfect financial confirmation” that the National Bank of Hungary managed to re-divest this office development with high profit levels within three years of the original purchase. “The transaction also carries a strong message, reminding the Hungarian real estate market that Eiffel Palace is a true global success story from a property development perspective, as well as a stable, secure, valuable form of investment, run at maximum capacity,” he adds.

estate development, architecture and general construction, collecting 18 awards in total between 2013 and 2015. The office building was 100% leased to prestigious local and international companies with long-term contracts soon after its 2014 handover, a fact that contributed to its S E P T E M B E R

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company briefs GRAPHISOFT PARK EXPANDS FURTHER According to the ‘Interim Management Report First Half 2017’ by Graphisoft Park, published at the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange, in the framework of the developments that began in 2015 and 2016, there will be 20,000 m2 office space and underground parking for 750 cars constructed by 2018. The developments were in part prompted by the Park’s largest tenant, SAP Hungary’s remarkable expansion; and in part by the growing demand for office space that could only be satisfied, at the current 100% occupancy rate, through constructing new office buildings. The original 8,000 m2 SAP office building housing its cafeteria and the three levels underground parking for 400 cars beneath it, was extended by 5,500 m2 net office space and parking for an additional 300 cars in a similar three-level underground parking garage in a new building wing. This development ended in February, 2017, and SAP moved into the building in March. “As previously, we are focusing on serving the needs of young enterprises with smaller space requirements (start-ups) that may, after a period of intensive growth, become outstanding tenants of the Park. Accumulated experience yielded the development concept suitable to serve best the emerging needs of these companies. With this

DAILY FLIGHTS TO START BETWEEN BUDAPEST AND PHILADELPHIA

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BUDAPEST AIRPORT, HUNGARORING, GRAPHISOFT PARK, ZOLTÁN MÁTHÉ/MTI, NOÉMI BRUZÁK/MTI

As of May 4, 2018 American Airlines, the world's largest airliner, will have scheduled daily flights between the Hungarian capital and the city of Philadelphia on the east coast of the United States, according to a communiqué by Budapest Airport and the US airliner. “Summer travel to Europe is very popular,” said Vasu Raja, American’s Vice President of Network & Schedule Planning, who stressed the convenient connection for customers between “exciting markets” across the Atlantic. According to a press release by Budapest Airport, the new flights, on Boeing 767-300 aircraft, offer more than 2,800 seats per week for the next summer season between Budapest and Philadelphia. Aboard the aircraft, business class travelers enjoy the benefits of 28 seats that recline to flatbed position if required, in a one-two-one arrangement, accessible from the aisle. These passengers are provided with a Samsung Galaxy tablet with the latest movies, the most successful TV programs, music and excerpts from best-selling books. Customers traveling on business class can also enjoy American Airlines's extended international premium board meals, jointly designed by British Michelin star chef Mark Sargeant and the world-renowned chef Maneet Chauhan. The main passenger compartment is fitted with 21 Main Extra Cabin seats, which can be tilted up to 18 cm. "This is a great time for Budapest Airport, since Philadelphia is the third direct US destination, in addition to New York (JFK) and Chicago O'Hare, we can announce for next summer," Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers said. "After a six-year break, it's a really joyful moment for us to celebrate the return of American Airlines. I believe that this is the acknowledgment of the development of Budapest, and our airport has become the most dynamically developing airport in the region.

“As a result of the latest investment by Bosch, Robert Bosch Power Tool Ltd. in Miskolc has been supplemented by a regional service center, making it the largest manufacturer of power tools in Europe and the largest unit in the Bosch Group,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at the opening ceremony of the new center. The total cost of the project is HUF 1.6 billion (EUR 5.2 million) with the Hungarian government providing almost a quarter of it (HUF 358 million) in the firm of non-returnable funding. The investment project is expected to create 205 new jobs in Miskolc. In his remarks, the Minister highlighted the fact that Bosch is one of the worldwide front-runners in the worldwide competition of digitalization and modernization, employing 59,000 people in the field of research and development. He also recognized that Bosch has given Hungary a central role in its R&D strategy in view of the fact that the company spent HUF 47 billion (EUR 154 M) on research and development in Hungary last year, an increase of 26 % compared to the previous year. In addition, the company cooperates with 19 educational institutions in the interest of training new workers. Bosch has become the foreign production company that employs the most people in Hungary today: 14,200, he added. The Managing Director of Robert Bosch Power Tool Ltd., László Fükő was quoted by the Hungarian news agency MTI as saying that the regional service center began operations last autumn, supplementing the R&D and productions activities of the power tool manufacturing plant in Miskolc. The center is involved in sorting and shipping the products manufactured in Miskolc and the company’s other facilities, in addition to procuring and storing batteries and packaging materials. Bosch has been present in Hungary since 1898. In the 2016 business year, the total turnover of the ten subsidiaries of the Bosch Group present in Hungary was 1149 billion forints (EUR 3.7bn), while its turnover in Hungary, which does not include trade between the group’s own subsidiaries, was 238 billion forints. The Bosch Group employs some 390 thousand people worldwide and achieved turnover of 73.1 billion euros in 2016.

HUF 35 billion forints (EUR 115 million) will be spent in three stages on the renovation of Hungary’s Formula One track Hungaroring, which has hosted the Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986. This renovation ensures that the motorsport race track will continue to be included in the Formula One race calendar after 2026. Following a meeting, during the Hungarian F1 Gran Prix, with Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of the Formula One Group, owner of Formulae One’s commercial rights, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó confirmed that within the framework of this project, a budget HUF 5 billion will be provided this year for the refurbishment of the public utilities system and grandstands, HUF 20 billion forints will be available in 2018 to modernize the paddock and the pits, and 10 billion will be spent in 2019 to complete these tasks and significantly increase the number of parking spaces in the vicinity of the track. “Mr. Carey was glad to hear this news, which has made it clear to him that Hungary is committed and serious about ensuring that the Hungarian Grand Prix remains on the race calendar following 2026”, the Minister said. “Hungaroring is a traditional race track that has been hosting Formula One races non-stop for 30 years. Mr. Carey made it clear to me that that the company does not want 21 similar and uniform race venues, but a colorful and exciting race calendar”, the Minister added, highlighting the fact that Budapest, with its 30-year history of hosting the Grand Prix, brings color to F1 owner Liberty Media’s new approach, and accordingly, the management regards Hungaroring as an important element of the Formula One championship series.

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delivered in the middle of 2018. Blocks A and B at a total of 7,000 m2 of the four blocks new complex will be leased by SAP. All in all, the existing 53,000 m2 office, laboratory and educational space and the 1,250 cars underground parking at the end of 2016 will be extended by 20,000 m2 office space and underground parking for another 750 cars by mid-2018, therefore, the total capacity of the Park will be 73,000 m2 office, laboratory and educational space and underground parking for 2,000 cars. In the meantime, a much more imposing façade will be created facing Ángel Sanz-Briz Street that has evolved into a busy artery road.

BOSCH ESTABLISHES REGIONAL SERVICE CENTER IN MISKOLC

EUR 115 MILLION TO BE SPENT ON RENOVATION OF HUNGARORING BY 2019

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particular concept, the primary aim is the 2,500 m2 building being built by the main entrance of the Park, in which a range of services and a coffee shop open to the general public will be housed,” a statement by Graphisoft Park says. The building was completed by the end of July 2017. Since the new wing completed in phase 1 is fully leased, the reception building to be completed in phase 2 is largely booked and SAP signaled its intent to lease more space, Graphisoft Park started the construction, in 2016, of an office complex consisting of four blocks with total of 12,500 m2 net office space complete with underground parking for 450 cars. The buildings are expected to be

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XELLIA PHARMACEUTICALS INAUGURATES NEW LABORATORY BUILDING The latest development by the Danish pharmaceutical company Xellia Pharmaceuticals has been completed at its Kőbánya site in Budapest. The laboratory constructed as part of a development of EUR 11 million will operate as a testing center for active ingredients. A report by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency says the center will also play an important role in the global operating strategy of the Danish pharmaceutical company. As a result of the expansion, more than 40 new jobs have been created so far, and through the ongoing hiring process Xellia would increase the size of the team participating in the operation of centralized laboratory services to 80 in 2019. With its more than 100 years of experience, the Copenhagen-based Xellia Pharmaceuticals which specializes in the production of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier in the pharmaceutical industry. In more than 70 countries, the company has relations with approximately 500 partners in the healthcare sector. At present, the company employs nearly 1,200 people in its operation and production units located in Denmark, Hungary, the United States and China. The new facility, with a floor area of about 3,000 square-meters, was constructed next to Xellia's plant that manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients and currently employs a staff of 200. All Xellia medicines produced worldwide will undergo final checking and testing in the laboratory complex, where state-of-the-art microbiological and chemical analytical laboratories have been established. Hungarian engineers, pharmacists and microbiologists will give the final approval for placing Xellia pharmaceutical products on the market.

7 8/31/17 1:24 PM


BY SÁNDOR LACZKÓ

After the Brexit vote last summer, Ambassador Lindsay voiced his opinion in an interview with Diplomacy&Trade that the United Kingdom “will still need to have an economic and political relationship with Hungary”. Now, more than a year later, he believes relations between Hungary and the UK are stronger. “Last November, Mr. Orbán was the first Prime Minister from the continent to see Mrs. May at 10 Downing Street after her election. So, the political relationship is stronger, the economic relations are

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stronger, trade is growing, investment is growing. If there is one area that has really grown, it is the defense relationship, which started at a very low base but included multiple joint exercises this year. I have been to the Pápa NATO Air Base as well as to bases in Várpalota and Kecskemét. We have really increased the range of the defense contact: British typhoon fighters, the Euro Fighters were here, so, we are doing a lot more on the defense side recently. I have also been to Szentendre for the course given by the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst to Hungarian soldiers and officers on military doctrine.”

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

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HUNGARY

UNITED KINGDOM

93,028 sq km 110 9,874,784 (July 2016 est.) 91 -0.24% (2016 est.) 216 9.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.) 207 75.9 years 92 1.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.) 57 USD 26,200 (2015 est.) 70 6.8% (2015 est.) 79 11.786 million 76 41 (2013) 104

243,610 sq km 80 64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) 23 0.53% (2016 est.) 157 12.1 births/1,000 population 165 80.7 years 33 2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population 40 USD 42,500 (2016 est.) 38 4.8% (2016 est.) 54 80.284 million 20 460 (2013) 18

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INTERVIEW WITH IAIN LINDSAY, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

that, I believe, Hungary is keen to see happen during its current presidency of the V4. So, I would say that our relationship is stronger now than it was a year ago but there is still more to do. For instance, the British Council is strengthening its presence in Budapest and in Hungary, recognizing that the educational and cultural relationship

The Ambassador recalls that the Hungarian government has made it clear that it wants a stronger relationship, “particularly, as we move closer to the Brexit date and we also want to strengthen our relationship with not only Hungary but also with the Visegrád Group (V4) – something

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REGARDLESS OF THE BREXIT…

Stronger relations

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british focus is also stronger. The reality is that the English language and culture is global; it is not an area where we have to work really particularly hard. It is not because of our efforts that there are 35 British musical performers at the Sziget festival – it is because British music is huge in the world. However, there are areas where we would like to develop the relations, more particularly: strengthening educational links as well as research and development. We have had good discussions with the Hungarian government on how to do that and we are working with the Hungarian authorities, for instance, in relation to the automotive test facility in Zalaegerszeg, in the southwest of the country, which is designed by a British company with a Hungarian partner. We have taken a lot of interest the test track, which is also a fantastic new leisure facility.”

In the Brexit context, he believes Hungary continues to be an understanding and sympathetic partner. “It is in everyone's interest to have a fair and mutually beneficial deal as of March 2019. We will not be in the European Union but we will still be a European country contributing to Europe's defense and security through NATO; we will still be the second largest economy in Europe and it will still be the case that 26 of the 27 other member states will still have a trade surplus with Britain, so, there are a lot of good reasons why we need to continue to work closely together.”

in her speech when we sent the ‘Article 50 letter’ to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission, that people, citizens come first! We always said we wanted to give assurance to the three and a half million European Union citizens in the United Kingdom and to the 1.8 million British citizens in Europe (somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 of whom are in Hungary). The reassurance to guarantee their rights is the world renowned British legal system that no one questions as a fair and honest legal system.” He recalls that the British Brexit minister, David Davis was here in April this year and he made it clear that “what we will be offering here will basically be the same as British citizens have – with a major exception is that EU citizens will not be able to vote in national elections. We value the contribution European Union citizens make in Britain and we want to ensure that people already in Britain can stay and we continue to be a magnet for international talent, including European talent. For Hungarian students going to study overseas, Britain is the second largest destination after Germany. We want to continue to attract these bright students as well as skilled workers. The idea is that somehow Britain's going to be emptied of all of the European Union citizens is really unfounded. It is true that some companies are ready to leave London because of the Brexit. But many times it is not the whole company. JPMorgan, for instance, has about 20,000 people in London – they may move a thousand people to Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Dublin or Paris but the reality is that London will continue to be, for the foreseeable future, Europe's major financial center.“ As for Brits in Hungary, the Ambassador highlights that “for British retirees, for example, Hungary is a great place to live, a lovely environment, it is not nearly as expensive obviously as in London or the southeast of England, generally. So, we are seeing an increasing number of Brits coming here to live. We've certainly seen a rapid increase in the number of British tourists coming here. It is increasing virtually every year by 30-40%. What UK citizens can expect in Hungary after the Brexit very much depends on the final deal. The Hungarian government has made it very clear that it wants to see a fair deal not just for Hungarians in Britain but for Brits in Hungary, as well. We are hoping that the generous offer that we have made will be reciprocated.”

DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

PIXABAY.COM

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Post-Brexit status As to the likely scenario concerning the post-Brexit status (stay, work, etc.) of Hungarians in the UK and those of British people in Hungary, Ambassador Lindsay points out that “nothing has changed since we brought forward our package. Fundamentally, the most important thing for every European citizen, and therefore every Hungarian citizen working in the UK, is that on the day we leave the European Union, they do not need to leave the United Kingdom if they have been there for five years already. They can get what we call ‘settled status’ and some of them will be also entitled to British citizenship. If they haven't been there for five years, so long as they stay in a total of 5 years, again, they get settled status, so, no one needs to leave! Mrs. May made it very clear w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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Group. “55,000 jobs in this country are with British companies; our trade here is growing. Hungary sells much more to the UK than we sell to Hungary, even though, Britain is not among the top five export markets for Hungary,” he adds.

Civilian and cultural ties

Company presence ensured There are several British companies in Hungary. Ambassador Lindsay believes their future here does not depend on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. “In a way, their presence here is not predicated on Britain's membership in the European Union but it is predicated on the fact that it is a good market, it is a good place to sell to, a good place to do business, a good place to provide services from and a good place to manufacture. None of those factors is affected by the situation in Britain or by the Brexit, it is determined by the market here or people's ability to do business from here. As an example: shared service centers. Hungary has very much become one of the main hubs for the provision of such services. The British company Diageo, the world's largest drinks company, has its biggest office in the world located next to Nyugati railway station in Budapest with nearly 1,500 people working there providing back office services, shared services for the whole world. That is not going to be affected by Britain's position in the European Union. British companies would obviously like to know what is going to happen but I think it is not going to affect their business here in Hungary. Some of the Hungarian investors in the UK we speak to also continue to see the United Kingdom as a significant market in its own right for them, a market, for instance, where they can continue research and development. Companies like Richter Gedeon or MOL are important Hungarian investors in the UK and we want to ensure that they are happy with their position there.” As regards bilateral economic relations, he stresses that the United Kingdom is the fifth largest foreign investor in Hungary. British investments reached GBP 2.1 billion in 2015 and are primarily realized with the following industries: shared service centers, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, and retail. The main investors are GlaxoSmithKline, Provident, Vodafone, British American Tobacco, Tesco, Diageo, Shell, G4S, BT EMEA, BP and CP Holdings/Danubius Hotels

According to the Ambassador, “in Western democracies, civil society, the world of NGOs, is a normal part of democratic life and democratic discourse. In many countries, there is a suspicion of civil organizations. It is in societies that are not part of the Western democratic culture and mentality. We live in a democratic Europe, so, we have a normal relationship with civil society. NGOs, and civil society in general, have a very important role to play: they can give an objective look at party politicians and provide a healthy check of politicians. Here in Hungary, we work, for instance, with ecumenical organizations in relation with charity events, or with Roma organizations. So, it is normal for us to work with NGOs.” He is of the view that in cultural relations, Britain takes a slightly laissez-faire attitude on the basis that normal life goes on without the government or the Embassy interfering. “None of the 35 British acts coming to this year’s Sziget festival are here because we have required them to be. Bilateral relationships are rather like icebergs: what we see publicly is the tip of the iceberg what is above the water. The reality is that what is underneath is far greater and in a way it does not depend on government. So, when it comes to cultural relations, there are some areas where we can help but the reality is that we are luckier than most people because British culture is so global, so international. A lot of those correlations go on by themselves. For example, we had a Roma storytelling event in a theater in Budapest this July with a British Roma writer. We were partners in the event to show our support but it was not financially dependent on Britain or the British Council. I am keen to see more cultural links but the reality is a lot happens without us being involved and I don't feel the need to be a sort of Orwellian figure (over)seeing everything.”

A Hungarian-speaking ambassador Given that Iain Lindsay has only been in Hungary since the spring of 2016, his command of the Hungarian language is ‘quite something’. He is a member of the Hungarian-speaking Ambassadors’ Club and has recently participated in the recital of a Hungarian poem along with other ambassadors. He says he began to learn Hungarian in the Foreign Office’s language teaching center in London in August 2015. “I had two very kind teachers there, teaching me for five months.” Then, in January 2016, he continued his studies in Pécs, in southern Hungary, in and Debrecen, in the east – seven months of intensive Hungarian learning before he took up his post as ambassador. He now knows out of experience that Hungarian is one of the hardest European languages to learn: “Hungarian grammar is more difficult than Japanese grammar.” At the end of September, he is due in Pécs for another short intensive course to prepare him for his C1 level exam in October. “Ez egy nagy kihívás lesz!” (“It will be a great challenge!”), he concludes with a smile.

9 8/31/17 1:24 PM


british focus

BRITAIN REMAINS OPEN FOR BUSINESS BRITISH ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY AFTER THE BREXIT VOTE The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) – formerly known as UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) – is the flagship of British economic diplomacy. It is an international economic department that secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade. It is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of opportunities. As the Director of International Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Budapest, Dr. Dora Kulauzov explains to Diplomacy&Trade, DIT, as a department, focuses on developing, coordinating and delivering a new trade and investment policy to promote UK business across the globe; developing and negotiating free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries; negotiating plurilateral trade deals (focusing on specific sectors or products); and providing operational support for exports and facilitating inward and outward investment (this is the area UKTI was dealing with in the past). She adds that the department is responsible for delivering a new trade policy framework for the United Kingdom as the UK leaves the EU, and promoting British trade and investment across the world. DIT, that operates an overseas network in 108 countries through 177 individual Posts, also brings trade policy, export promotion and financial expertise together to break down barriers to trade and investment and help UK companies succeed.

BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT

Following a decline in British-Hungarian trade relations during the global financial/economic crisis, there has been improvement in the past few years. The Hungarian economy has returned to growth but remains open and vulnerable to external economic developments and dependent on exports, primarily to EU member states, the Director says. The UK’s main trade partner is the EU (accounting for more than 43% of exports and 53% of imports), the share of exports to and imports from Hungary is less than 1% of UK global trade (0.34% of exports and 0.6% of imports). Hungary is the UK’s third largest export market in CentralEastern Europe, after Poland and the Czech Republic. There are considerable volumes of two-way trade in telecommunications devices, electrical machinery, medical and pharmaceutical goods and manufactured goods. Almost 80% of foreign trade of Hungary flow to EU countries, especially to large old member states such as Germany (which accounts for more than 27% of total exports), France and Italy, while regional (V4 – Visegrád Group) and neighboring partners (Austria, Romania) are also important. In 2016, the United Kingdom was Hungary’s 9th most important product export destination with a share of 3.9%. When it comes to product imports to Hungary, the UK was ranked 14th with a share of 1.9%. Bilateral trade in goods and services in terms of UK exports to Hungary reached GBP 3.7 billion in 2015. The UK is one of the biggest (5th) foreign investors in Hungary. British investments reached GBP 2.1 billion in 2015 and are primarily realized in shared service centers, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, and retail sectors.

searching for high value opportunities. And we will, of course, continue to focus on government to government relations, and market access issues. We will remain the contact point for large British companies. The British Business Centre that operates under the umbrella of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary will continue to facilitate new bilateral relationships between small and medium sized enterprises, focusing on reaching a far great number of new UK exporters.”

DIT team in Hungary

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welcome development as it demonstrates the growing significance of trade and investment issues. My role remains to promote bilateral trade relations in Hungary but with a greater emphasis on conveying the strategic message of the UK government, which is ‘Britain remains open for business’. The UK is leaving the EU but not leaving Europe and wants to put in its place a new relationship with the EU and its member states: a close, wide-ranging and strategic partnership. The UK will stay a reliable partner, willing ally and close friend with its neighbors as there are so many values and interests in common. The UK wants the EU to be a success and wants its remaining member states to prosper. The UK wants to see the closest possible access to the single market, for goods and services, including zero tariffs on goods – this trade deal should give European and British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within each other’s markets,” she adds.

Explaining why she believes the UK can make a success of Brexit, the Director points out that the fundamentals of the UK economy are strong; the UK has been ranked as the seventh best place to do business in the world by the World Bank; the UK is in 7th place in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index, reflecting the stability and strength of the UK business environment; and an independent report by Ernst&Young confirmed the UK has maintained its position as the top European destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). “There is a good number of business opportunities for UK companies in Hungary, including high value projects, particularly in the automotive, nuclear energy, defense and security, and infrastructure fields. Our role is to deliver DIT’s strategic objectives to promote the UK as a place that remains open for business also after Brexit, and to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries, thus furthering bilateral relations. Brexit is not the end of Britain’s relationship with Europe but the start of a new and exciting chapter where the UK`s bilateral relationships with Europe will be of far greater importance.”

For maximum impact and success Trade promotion is a key goal for the Department for International Trade. As Dora Kulauzov says “DIT support is targeted where government can add most value. DIT prioritizes its export promotion activity by identifying the sector-market combinations that present the greatest opportunities to achieve the maximum impact and success.” In the spring of 2014, a British Business Centre was set up in Budapest by the British Embassy and the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (BCCH) jointly. Regarding the activities and responsibilities taken over from former UKTI and DIT Budapest’s cooperation with the Centre, the Director stresses that “at the Embassy, commercial work has become even more important and more strategic. We have introduced, in collaboration with colleagues across the Central European region, a campaigning approach to promote British excellence in innovation and creativity, S E P T E M B E R

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As to the scope of the activity of her section at the British Embassy in Budapest, Dora Kulauzov says “my team operates as one of the Embassy sections. We are here to further DIT`s strategic objectives to promote British trade and investment with Hungary. Our work focuses on the following main areas: encouraging exports from the UK to Hungary by providing advice to British companies on the Hungarian political and economic environment and market access, and by searching for Hungarian trade partners; representing the interests of British investors operating in Hungary; and advising interested Hungarian companies to invest in the UK.” Trade and investment support activities have been longstanding areas of responsibility of the British Embassy in Budapest. The section has existed for a long time (several decades) but in the past there were several name changes (the most recent one last year following the Brexit vote). The Brexit vote last summer was followed by some restructuring in the UK government, so, in the autumn of 2016, a new department called ‘Department for International Trade’ was established. It is a ministerial department that focuses on trade policy, trade negotiations as well as trade and investment promotion. At the same time, the former trade and investment promotion organization called UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) ceased to exist. “The coming into existence of this new department is a

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30 St Mary Axe London

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Š Jason Hawkes

It takes just 6 days to set up a business in the UK and as little as 24 hours to register a company. For a supportive, entrepreneurial environment, choose the UK. www.great.gov.uk

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british focus

CHAMBER OF CHOICE

operations of the organization. As to how BCCH can contribute to the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy, the Chairman stresses that “our membership started growing once again to reach close to 130 members of British, Hungarian and international business people and corporations, and we have a network of over 3,000 contacts from approximately 20 sectors. We started to strengthen our relationship with our existing members and build relationships with new members and partners. We began to create opportunities for British SMEs entering the Hungarian market through our British Business Centre operations, which offers continued export support. If an SME is interested in coming here, the Business Centre will do the market research for them to see what opportunities are available, offer a hot desk opportunity for them during their negotiations and ’scouting trips’, and support their establishment in the Hungarian market. In two-and-a-half years, we have helped 500 British SMEs enter the market; in terms of signed contracts, that’s GBP 0.5 million.” Vazul Tóth was re-elected as BCCH Chairman earlier this year. For this next term, he wishes to concentrate primarily on three issues: digitalization; British business values; and value added services to BCCH members. “Digitalisation is here and is already significantly transforming how organisations trade, build their capabilities and deliver services to their customers. We need to make sure we are supporting this and we are part of this development rather than just jumping on this when it is too late. We will continue to support those business values that I have mentioned, promote the flow of trade between Hungary and the UK and, in terms of events, we continue to focus on current affairs and relevant topics,” he concludes.

BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOCUSES ON RELEVANT TOPICS

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workshops, conferences and exclusive CEO Dinners, BCCH has hosted various networking events throughout the years. The Executive Director is pleased to mention the professional and networking events. “Our members really like the ‘club-like’ and business friendly atmosphere, primarily the very prestigious British Business Club, held at the Ambassador’s residence; then, the joint BCCH Christmas Party with the Embassy, the Chamber’s Family Day, the Guy Fawkes Night and the great Culture Clubs with exhilarating exhibitions that showed the magnificent works of Rippl-Rónai, Turner, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rembrandt or others.” “One of our greatest values is that we care about the views and opinions of our members and stakeholders that help us to build a powerful multilateral network and increase the capacity and professionalism of the Chamber.” she adds.

BREXIT

With reference to the outcome of the Brexit vote last summer, the BCCH Chairman explains that “as the UK redefines its relationships with the EU, our mission remains the same; promoting trade and investment flow between the UK and Hungary. Brexit is an unprecedented event, and as such, it is very hard to predict the short and long term implications on trade at this point. What we know is that more and more emphasis will be placed on bilateral relationships and synergies. Hungary and the UK have an extremely strong relationship on a trade and political level. I think there will be lots of opportunities to build on that.” He believes that the role of the British Chamber of Commerce and the British Business Centre will be more important in the new era of trade relations and regulations. British companies will require professional guidance and support of experts from the Chamber when entering the local market. “New exporters may face additional administrative and legal challenges and we will aim to provide clarity and assistance.” “We currently see good opportunities for trade and investment in the Hungarian market in the Healthcare & Medical, Automotive, Clothing, Footwear and Fashion industries and we will continue to improve and exploit our strong relationship with the UK through our events and promoting the opportunities available in Hungary.” The market has proved that the BCCH plays a significant part in helping British businesses entering and operating in Hungary. “We firmly believe that whatever the road of Brexit is going to be, the Chamber will stand the test of time and play a key role in redefining and facilitating the new relationship between the UK and Hungary. We have the expertise and good relationships with key stakeholders and the government through which we are well positioned to provide win-win opportunities for our members. As the UK redefines its relationships with the EU, more and more emphasis will be placed on bilateral synergies and we will be here to take part in that.”

Principles and business values “Our mission is to represent British, Hungarian and international companies with the overarching principles of British business values and promote trade and investment flows between the UK and Hungary. We provide our members with all kinds of opportunities to raise their company’s business profile and strengthen their competitiveness in the local and international market. These opportunities include events and publications (these both are very popular), areas of focus (such as knowledge transfer, SMEs, CR, etc.), international and regional partnerships, as well as special offers and discounts,” Vazul Tóth points out. Among British business values represented by BCCH, he lists competitiveness, transparency, good governance, accountability and fairness which all play a very important role in the S E P T E M B E R

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sectors and to discuss topical issues with them. We are delighted that over the past two years we have been able to host CEOs of significant organisations such as GSK, BT, Vodafone and Budapest Airport to name a few. The third pillar focuses on innovative business models and disruptive technologies. Working with several local and British organizations we aim to spread a startup mindset to facilitate a rapid change in developing products and services.” The BCCH (with close to 130 members) has a close working relationship with the British Embassy in Budapest and with other European chambers and business organizations operating in Hungary. The Chamber is also a member of COBCOE (Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe), an umbrella association of all the British Chambers of Commerce operating in Europe. “In all its activities, as the gateway to a global trade and investment business solution, our network of business support services and partnerships with the Department for International Trade (DIT), and the European (COBCOE) and global network of UK Chambers of Commerce gives our members the direct contact and connections they need to succeed, and this is why the BCCH regards its British identity and values as fundamental to its success.” He adds that the BCCH leadership is convinced that the Chamber still has a far-reaching future, especially if the organization continues its various facets, its mixture of professional interests, friendships, lobbying missions and the desire to give something back to Hungary, “therefore, we keep coming up with new ideas regarding our events and try to tailor them around the current economic and business challenges hence, we can serve our members better.” Beyond business events, like business breakfasts, luncheons, business seminars and

photo by DÁVID

The British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (BCCH) celebrated its 25thanniversary last year. Asked what he regards the greatest achievement of this quarter of a century, BCCH Chairman Vazul Tóth told Diplomacy& Trade it is that the BCCH is among the top three most active bilateral Chambers in Hungary. “We are proud that based on feedback, we can say that people consider the BCCH as one of the leading Chambers of Europe and as a chamber of choice. 26 years is a long time, we have been through a great deal, and thus, plenty of achievements: hosting over a thousand events, opening the British Business Centre in Budapest, starting projects such as our uSchool Entrepreneurship Club, which was even featured in the Forbes Magazine, and so on.” The Executive Director of BCCH, Csilla Csurgai highlights among the most successful events the celebration, in 2009, of the 150th anniversary of Big Ben, one of London's iconic landmarks and the celebration, last year, of the 25th anniversary of BCCH. The Chairman revealed that the nature of these events changed in accordance with the demands of the members. “A few years ago, when we started building BCCH 2.0, as I like to call it, we built it on three key pillars. The first is facilitating knowledge transfer from multinational companies to SMEs, who the chamber found ‘were very keen to learn good practices from multinationals and acquire skills to grow to the next level’. This is typified by the SME breakfast series, in which experts of multinational companies are invited to share their experience with Chamber’s SME members. The second pillar is the highly successful CEO dinner series. We found that there was a desire among C-level executives to learn from CEOs in various

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GENERATING INTEREST AND BUSINESS THE BRITISH BUSINESS CENTRE IN BUDAPEST The British Business Centre in Budapest was established in 2014, under the umbrella of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (BCCH). With the then UKTI (now the Department of International Trade – DIT) and BCCH already present here, Diplomacy&Trade asked the Manager of the British Business Centre in Budapest, Oliver Strommer, what made this move necessary. “The British government needed to boost exports. The main aim was to balance the trade deficit and they thought of this new initiative – in the framework of the Overseas Business Network Initiative (OBNi) program – of establishing business centres at important export markets worldwide. The target is that by 2020, a hundred thousand new British export deals (by small and medium size enterprises) will be assisted through these centres. All this is linked closely with the British Chamber of Commerce in the respective countries to take advantage of the ready-made network. In our case, the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary has recently celebrated 25 years of existence – in other parts of the world there are 50th, 60th or 70th anniversaries.” As to how strategic a market Hungary is for British exports, the Manager says it is definitely important – together with five other markets of East Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. “We like to emphasise that the one in Budapest is actually a regional hub. All six countries have very similar advantages in terms of what they can offer. However, individually, as a market, they are quite small but if we combine the whole region, we are talking about 110-120 million people as a market for British exports rather than, let’s say, just Hungary of ten million people. If someone is willing to come as far as, say, Budapest to sell washing machines, for example, then, that company is willing to go to Prague, Bucharest or Warsaw, as well. That is why we work closely with other British Business Centres in the region.” The key sectors generating the volume numbers by over a thousand UK firms that the Business Centre in Budapest has provided assistance to, so far, are Automotive, Healthcare & Medical, as well as Clothing, Footwear and Fashion, while the top regions where interest derives from in the UK are Greater London, South East England and East Midlands.

Central and Eastern Europe and to be used as a base in the years to come. Hungary (and East Central Europe) is not that far from the United Kingdom (a two-hour plane ride and some 200 flights monthly), so, it is a good place for British companies to start thinking of, even in terms of post-Brexit relocation.”

Division of tasks As to what activities and responsibilities were taken over from (the then) UKTI and BCCH, Oliver Strommer points out that the Centre assists SMEs. “Commercial posts at embassies worldwide have been assisting UK companies for decades. These firms are mainly multinationals and the British government felt that there was not enough emphasis on small and medium size enterprises, we were not being proactive enough to start thinking seriously about exports. So, the division of tasks between DIT and the Business Centre is clear: the first one deals with the multinationals while the latter looks after the SME side. The difference is between what we call volume and value.” The British Business Centre generates larger interest numbers through its new online portal operated in the UK (Exporting is Great). Local posted tenders (e.g. from Hungary translated into English) are uploaded via TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) with the aim to generate as many UK based responses as possible from interested British SMEs. “From these numbers, we aim to create a commercial consultancy business for the Business Centre and potentially BCCH through new members. Let’s not forget that the British Business Centre is a commercial enterprise. We are subsidised by the British government yearby-year, but we are expected to fund ourselves and become self-sustainable,” he adds.

Post-Brexit outlook

HARANGOZÓ

HARANGOZÓ

photo by DÁVID

photo by DÁVID

Interest in Hungary As regards the interest of British SMEs in the Hungarian market, the Manager says British SMEs are very interested in exporting activity as the exchange rate of the pound makes it quite lucrative. Imports are more expensive while exports are cheaper, so, it is better for new exporters. “So far, feedback has been great as it is boom time in Hungary presently, although, on occasion the alleged issue of bureaucracy is raised as a concern. Still, Hungary is a very good place to do business for British companies.” According to the Business Centre Manager, the w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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expectations of British SMEs concerning the investment environment in Hungary include stable governance and predictable market rules with good market conditions to make a tidy profit long term as a result, both in terms of exporting and investments into new plants,

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facilities, shared service centres, logistic parks etc. “Obviously, everybody wants to make a profit, that is the bottom-line agenda. British companies are looking to do long-term business in Hungary. Hungary is also being earmarked as a very good market to launch from into

Answering the question how the activities/ operations of the Business Centre were affected by the outcome of the Brexit vote, he explains that “Brexit has not really had a big impact on our activities, so far. Once the model is formed of how post-Brexit Britain is going to look, Hungarian businesses may also find their place in that model to do business with Britain and in Britain. There is more interest than ever before as Brexit provides motivation for British SME business to get busier with new markets. We are partly the eyes and ears of the British government and the commercial service we provide is unique for UK firms plus a very economical service for SME sized businesses subsidised by the British government.” It is the British Embassy, the BCCH and the Business Centre that will be the first reference points for UK exporters with regards to how Brexit impacts business and legislation changes, residence issues, customs etc. “The interim period will require these important existing UK entities to be even more vigilant, constructive and co-operative,” Oliver Strommer concludes.

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TRYING TO SQUARE THE CIRCLE? THE 50 YEARS OF THE ASEAN COOPERATION BY TAMÁS MAGYARICS

Five South-East Asian nations decided to found an organization in 1967 to promote regional stability at a time when practically, the Cold War bipolar world view defined international relations all the world over, while in South-East Asia the ’American’ war in Vietnam was at its height. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand constituted the original membership; nowadays, the number has doubled as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam joined the Association of Southeast Nations at various times.

New initiatives One definite achievement was, though, the signing of a deal in 1995 that created a nuclearfree zone in the region. One can only hope that the commitment will be held despite the fact that there is a real danger of nuclear proliferation north (centering on North Korea) and west of the grouping in the broader Middle East. Security cooperation has also been extended to counter-terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11; and the Chiang Mai Initiative of 1997 can be regarded as a financial security measure, as the ASEAN countries, China, Japan and South Korea agreed to provide financial

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support through currency swaps following the Asian financial crisis. This ASEAN Plus Three initiative dated back to the early 1990s, but the United States, the other key outside superpower, prevented the institutionalization of the closer cooperation for very obvious geo-economic and geopolitical reasons.

The ASEAN Charter The integration of the organization acquired a new dimension with the adoption of the ASEAN Charter, a sort of constitution, which provided the grouping legal status reminding one of the European Union. The charter established three branches: the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). The AEC is built upon four pillars: the creation of a single market with the free movement of goods, services, investment, and skilled labor; fair economic competition; sustainable and equitable economic development; and further integrating ASEAN into the global economy. In fact, there is a long way to go to realize the stated goals; e.g., intra-ASEAN trade was only as low as 24% in 2015. The second pillar

the bandwagon of the so-called fourth industrial revolution with such driving technologies as artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, mobile internet, genetics, and ultracheap automation. The demographic trends of the countries are promising and favorable in general, though Singapore and Thailand are aging. An issue that may threaten the economic (and, possibly, the political) cohesion of the grouping is the relatively huge gaps in competitiveness: while Singapore is ranked second according to the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, Vietnam is only the 56th, Cambodia the 90th, and Myanmar is the 131st. Therefore, a key question will be the narrowing of this gap, and it needs massive infrastructural investments and the improvement of IT capability. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amounted to about USD 76 billion in the early 2010s; with 22% of the total, the EU was the single largest investor. Talks over a free trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN started some time ago, and have been revived recently; one such agreement was already concluded between the EU and Singapore in 2012.

is predominantly realized in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) of 27 members to contribute regional confidence-building and preventive diplomacy; the above-mentioned ASEAN Plus Three; the East Asia Summit (EAS) launched in 2005 and it includes all the major actors in the regions with China, India, Japan, the U.S., and Russia as well. The rationale for the ARF and the EAS is an anxiety among the ASEAN members of becoming over reliant and dependent on China. However, there are members, such as Cambodia, that are close allies of China.

Economic cooperation and growth The future looks equally ambivalent. Economic cooperation and growth seem to be the strongest glue keeping the members together. ASEAN as a whole has grown around 5% a year lately, and in early 2017 they collectively possessed the sixth largest economy in the world; the goal is to advance one step up by 2020. A double-digit growth is wishful thinking, 7% annual growth seems to be more realistic. At this growth rate, the ASEAN countries combined income will double every 10 years which will not be a small feat. Much depends on the ability of the ASEAN-members to join S E P T E M B E R

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The list itself implies the basic strengths and weaknesses of the grouping. The ASEAN countries have a combined population of some 625 million, and a combined GDP of about USD 2.8 trillion, and they possess 4.4 million square kilometers. Their geostrategic position is a classic case of a glass ‘half empty and half full’. They share land and maritime borders with more than half a dozen states, but the problem is that one of them is China, which is throwing about its weight more and more forcefully. As the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi helpfully reminded them during a recent row over the South China Sea: ”China is a big country and other countries are small counties.” The assertive Chinese policies in the South China Sea have called into being such strange bedfellows as, for instance, the U.S. and Vietnam, as the latter is worried about being pushed aside by Beijing – as has happened repeatedly in the history of the two countries. It is not only the giant northern neighbor that challenges the ASEAN members; internal cohesion is not especially strong either. Leadership is another problem, though the current rotating leader, the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte does not lack will and determination – however, there are doubts whether they are the right ones. The vast area the members are scattered over also indicates that the national priorities are divergent at times. As for the political systems in the member countries, they are diverse, too: democracies, communist, and authoritarian states can all be found among them. Finally, there does not seem to be an overall strategic vision where ASEAN should be heading.

KARTAPRANATA/WIKIPEDIA

Assertive Chinese policies

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ASEAN AND HUNGARY: MILLIONS OF OPPORTUNITIES INTERVIEW WITH HUNGARY’S FIRST AMBASSADOR TO ASEAN

photos by GYÖRGY

KONKOLY-THEGE, DÁVID HARANGOZÓ

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. On this occasion, Diplomacy&Trade talks to Hungary’s first Ambassador to ASEAN, Szilveszter Bus, who is now a Deputy State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. When asked what he believes the greatest achievements of this regional cooperation have been in the past five decades, the Deputy State Secretary gives a short answer – with a detailed explanation. “Peace and stability. These are so much taken for granted and yet are so frail and – for many regions of the world – so elusive. Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse and yet most peaceful parts of the globe. Now, as we celebrate the first half century of its founding, we have to acknowledge that ASEAN played a pivotal role in securing and maintaining that stability and diversity.” He adds that when ASEAN was founded at the height of the Vietnam War, many observers expected that it would collapse after a few years of existence. The concept of Southeast Asian regional cooperation against the common fear of instability and for the common good of economic development, however, has spectacularly withstood the test of time. The group’s membership has doubled from the five founding members to ten countries, encompassing some of the world’s least and most developed nations, representing a wide range of political systems and containing a wide array of cultures, traditions and languages. In spite of all odds, the ASEAN era has coincided with a period of peace and unsurpassed prosperity in Southeast Asia. Following the Cold War, ASEAN successfully integrated the former regional adversaries, the nations of the Indochinese Peninsula, and presided over an unprecedented era of economic progress when growth has spread even to the poorest w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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members of the group. In the meantime, ASEAN’s combined GDP has grown from USD 100 billion in 1970 to USD 2.5 trillion today. He highlights that the evolution of ASEAN – which has launched the latest phase of its integration process, the ASEAN Community at the end of 2015 – has been achieved through a stubbornly meticulous process of consensus building. Its integration has all along remained marketdriven, bottom-up, and institution-light. This is in contrast to Europe’s largely politically-driven, top-down, and institutionalized format. “The EU is an important dialogue partner for ASEAN and more than that: an inspiration, if not a model, to quote the organization’s former SecretaryGeneral, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. I was Hungary’s first Ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta and witnessed the creation of the ASEAN Community. Having been present at the birth, I can but wonder at the growth and future of this remarkable organization,” Szilveszter Bus points out.

The ASEAN way As to what role ASEAN plays in international relations, especially in Asia, the Deputy State Secretary stresses that “today ASEAN is the focal point of regional cooperation in East Asia. This is not something to be taken for granted, it was achieved through hard work, visionary initiative and leadership. Over the past 50 years, ASEAN has managed to establish a sense of identity for a complex region and acted as an anchor of stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia. Apart from being a major engine of Asian and global growth, it has become a crux of regional cooperation, a force for good. It has created important frameworks such as the ASEAN Regional Forum that makes essential contributions to the security architecture in the entire East Asian region by involving all important stakeholders.” He adds that through a web of free trade agreements concluded with major trading partners and through its dedicated support to an open system of world trade, ASEAN greatly contributes to the freedom of trade that underpins all efforts to promote cooperation between countries and regions. Szilveszter Bus believes ASEAN is a dedicated supporter of multilateralism and of a world order governed by the rule of law and adherence to internationally accepted norms of behavior. “With its highly admirable record of firmly safeguarding peace and security in a previously volatile corner of the world and consistently achieving one of the fastest economic growth rates on the planet, ASEAN stands out as a highly successful regional organization and a respected international actor which is in a position to speak with authority on every major global issue. More importantly, ASEAN is in many ways the perfect dialogue partner and mediator. It is an open minded, diverse and accepting grouping that learned by experience how to deal with differences: the ASEAN way.”

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HUNGARY AND ASEAN Szilveszter Bus has recently pointed out that the bilateral relations between Hungary and the ASEAN member states have never been so strong as today. As for the practical implications of these strong ties in terms of bilateral relations between this region and Hungary, he has stressed that the Hungarian government strongly believes that the sustainability of good economic performance requires diversification both in terms of tradeable goods and cooperating partners. That is why the strategy of Opening to the South has been firmly anchored in the Hungarian government’s foreign policy doctrine. “We look for new partners and new opportunities beyond the perimeters of the old continent. Few regions present more opportunities to the 21st century than Southeast Asia – and Hungary took note. It was by no means an accident that already back in 2012, the first non-Western keynote speaker at our annual Ambassadors’ Conference in Budapest was none other than the Secretary-General of ASEAN.” He adds that “we have greatly strengthened our institutional presence in the ASEAN countries. We have never before had as many diplomatic and trade representations in the ASEAN region as we have today. Currently, we are present with an embassy in six ASEAN countries. Hungarian Trading Houses have also been established all over the region. Beyond physical presence, we have managed to establish well functioning economic cooperation arrangements. With Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, we have set up Joint Economic Commissions to facilitate bilateral trade and investment and we are looking forward to establishing such Commissions with the Philippines and Malaysia in the near future. The Government of Hungary is providing the necessary financial resources to strengthen our engagement in the development of ASEAN countries. Hungarian companies, in cooperation with their local partners, have used the Hungarian government’s tied aid and EXIM Bank’s country-specific credit lines to support the export of Hungarian goods and technology to the ASEAN region.” Hungary has opened new diplomatic and trade missions in the ASEAN countries and signed numerous bilateral intergovernmental and inter institutional agreements with ASEAN counterparts in the past years. Regarding the tangible results of these moves, so far, the Deputy State Secretary highlights that it is no coincidence that the value of Hungary’s trade with these countries is consistently growing. “In 2016 we had a bilateral turnover of USD 2.117 billion, which represents an increase of 4% over the similar figure a year before. The growth of tourism in both ways presents a similarly encouraging picture. Our cooperation in the area of higher education is growing day by day. The signing of the Hungary-ASEAN cooperation agreement on higher education in July 2017 has been a major milestone toward the expansion of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program to all ASEAN countries. For the 2017/2018 academic year, 169 students have been admitted to Hungarian universities on these scholarships from ASEAN countries.”

As for future opportunities, in the development of bilateral relations between the ASEAN countries and Hungary, he says he sees millions of opportunities in the millions of people travelling between Hungary and ASEAN each year, in the thousands of businesspeople and the hundreds of students seeking challenges and potential for growth. “I am more than confident that there has never been a better time to expand the flow of people, ideas, bilateral trade and investment between Southeast Asia and Central Europe, two regions with some of the most promising outlook for growth in the world. Mere geographical distance is rapidly losing importance in the 21st century, and I’d like to encourage Hungarian companies to take a closer look at the various business opportunities the ASEAN region can offer.” In conclusion, the Deputy State Secretary points out that the Hungarian government is committed to a strong and enduring partnership with ASEAN as a community, as well as with its ten Member States individually. “Apart from trade and investment, we see great potential in developing our cooperation in such areas as science and technology, innovation, education, culture, and tourism. We are determined to strengthen our people-to-people interactions as well, the best reserve for a truly vibrant bilateral relationship. We have brilliant decades of cooperation with the ASEAN region behind us, and I am confident that our current initiatives and momentum will have an even bigger significance for all countries involved. At the end of the day, our work is about relationships; but our success lies in knowing which to cherish, nurture and strengthen. Hungary has proven, time and time again, its dedication to the Southeast Asian region generally and to ASEAN specifically. I believe that our current initiatives in trade and diplomacy highlight that lasting dedication.”

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DOING IT IN THE ASEAN WAY INTERVIEW WITH THE MALAYSIAN AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

compared to total trade in 2015. Malaysia’s trade with the European Union has risen by 15.1% to USD 3 billion. Exports to the EU were valued USD 1.76 billion, an increase of 26.5% and accounted for 10.1% share of Malaysia’s total exports. He also finds it important to stress that Hungary is among the seven EU member states where Malaysian exports registered double digit growth (to The Netherlands by 61.1%; to Poland by 57.2%, to Hungary by 38.4%; to Sweden by 27.7%; to Germany by 23.1%; to Spain by 20% and to the United Kingdom by 11.3%). On opportunities for the future in the development of bilateral relations between Malaysia and Hungary, Ambassador Cheong highlights that there exist investment opportunities for Hungarian businesses in the services sector in Malaysia in the areas of water management, environmental management, ICT services, healthcare, logistics and tourism. He also calls attention to the opportunity to expand people-to-people connection via tourism. “It can bring people closer to each other if tourists gain knowledge about each other’s countries. The latest data we have shows that there was an increasing number of tourist arrivals from Hungary to Malaysia between January and August 2015 (4,981 arrivals, an increase of 36.1%, compared to 3,660 for the same period in 2014.)”

during which the individual member countries have been able to concentrate on promoting rapid and sustained economic growth and modernization. We are talking about a market of about 630 million people – an enormous potential to tap into. We are a community that attempts to resolve disputes in an amicable way. Concerning the issue of the South China Sea, ASEAN has acted in a very tactful manner and has been able to calm down the noise in the ASEAN way. On the business front, ASEAN’s economy multiplied significantly between 1975 and 2016, from USD 87.2 billion to USD 2.55 trillion. We are very proud of these achievements. It all started in a very small way, 50 years passed and these are the things we can be proud of today.”

Developing bilateral ties

terms of the economic prosperity and the kind of modernization that is taking place in the ASEAN countries. I believe ASEAN’s main achievement is the maintenance of an uninterrupted period of peace and stability

Translating the recent words of Deputy State Secretary Szilveszter Bus, Hungary’s first ambassador to ASEAN, concerning the strong ties between Hungary and the ASEAN member countries into Malaysian-Hungarian bilateral relations, Ambassador Cheong mentions that total bilateral trade has increased every year since 2014, noticeably after the re-opening of the Embassy of Hungary in Kuala Lumpur and the establishment of the Trading House office there. For 2016, total trade was recorded at USD 428.5 million, a growth of 33% as

A PARTNER IN BUILDING A COMMUNITY INTERVIEW WITH THE VIETNAMESE AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

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Shared expertise Deputy State Secretary in the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Szilveszter Bus, who was also Hungary’s first ambassador to ASEAN, has recently pointed out that the bilateral relations between Hungary and the ASEAN member states have never been so strong as today. As for the practical implications of these strong ties in terms of bilateral relations between Vietnam and Hungary, Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tuan is of the opinion that despite the changes occurring on global, regional and national scales, the relationship and cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary remain unchanged and constantly endorsed by the governments and people of the two countries. “In the past three years, the President, Speaker of Parliament and the Foreign Minister of Hungary have visited Vietnam. Last April, the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam also visited Hungary, and this September, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will pay a visit to Vietnam. All this shows that the political relations between the two countries have deepened on the base of mutual trust and understanding, they have created a foundation for promoting cooperation in economy, trade, investment, culture, education and national security.” He adds that the turnover of bilateral trade between Vietnam and Hungary reached nearly USD 270 million (in 2016), “showing great

potential for the future, especially once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is ratified, which is expected to happen in the next few years. Furthermore, what is significant is Hungary’s commitment to provide Vietnam a

tied aid credit of EUR 500 million for projects with great socio-economic significance in water management, medicine, agriculture, information technology, etc. – areas where Hungary has great expertise to share.”

Education that connects Among these areas, education is a longstanding aspect of cooperation between the two countries. By 1990, Hungary had already educated over 4,000 Vietnamese experts in various fields. Nowadays, the Hungarian government continues to provide Vietnam with 100 scholarships per year, and the number is expected to double in the near future. “The Vietnamese government highly appreciates Hungary’s assistance in building a qualified human source for Vietnam in the years to come,” the Ambassador highlights. Regarding the future of the relationship between Vietnam and Hungary, Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tuan contends that bilateral ties have endured and stood the test of time. “I do not see any obstacles in the way to consolidate and develop the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between our two nations. I am optimistic and confident that relations between Vietnam and Hungary will continue to develop in the following years, because it not only aligns with both countries’ foreign policies, but also meets the desire of the people.” S E P T E M B E R

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“Over five decades of evolution and development, ASEAN’s greatest success is uniting countries in Southeast Asia under the common roof of the ASEAN Community. The establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015 was a major milestone in ASEAN’s overall regional integration process.” That is what the Vietnamese Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Nguyen Thanh Tuan believes to be the greatest achievement of the 50-year-old organization. The role ASEAN plays in international relations, especially in Asia, the Ambassador points out to Diplomacy&Trade that currently, with the population of 630 million people, a GDP of nearly USD 3 trillion and a development rate of 4.7% (in 2016), ASEAN is the drive behind regional economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. ASEAN also has a central role in promoting peace, stability and development in the region. “Cooperation with ASEAN is one of the top priorities in Vietnam’s foreign policy. Since joining it in 1995, Vietnam has been an active participant in the process of building an ASEAN Community, with contributions to increasing the association’s unity and building its development direction. Vietnam has also proposed various ideas to maintain a secure, stable environment for cooperation in the region,” he stresses.

photos by DÁVID

photo by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ

“We have to look at how it all started. It was a tumultuous period during the spread of communism in our region, it was the time of the Vietnam war,” the Malaysian Ambassador to Hungary, Cheong Loon Lai tells Diplomacy&Trade, looking back to the time five decades ago when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established. “Countries of the region got together, discussing ways, finding solutions and mutual interests, making small steps towards cooperation. Moving closer to present day, a significant achievement was the ASEAN charter passed ten years ago,” he adds. The Charter included multiple principles like ASEAN being a central force in regional co-operation; respect for the principles of territorial integrity, sovereignty, non-interference and national identities of ASEAN members; promoting regional peace and identity, peaceful settlements of disputes through dialogue and consultation and the renunciation of aggression; upholding international law with respect to human rights, social justice and multilateral trade and encouraging regional integration of trade. The next step the Ambassador mentions was the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 – a major milestone in the regional economic integration. It was adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit in November of that year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “What is more important is in

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Phnom Penh Jakarta > Denpasar Kuala Lumpur Yangon Manila > Mabalacat City Singapore Bangkok > Phuket > Krabi > Chiang Mai Hanoi > Ho Chi Minh City

As Qatar’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti put it, “I am very proud to see the national carrier of the State of Qatar showcasing the unique Qsuite to the whole world as it continues to expand and innovate in every single way. I am also very pleased to see the national carrier of the State of Qatar proceed with its expansion plans more than expected, with endless ambition.” According to Boeing Vice Chairman Ray Conner, “all of us at Boeing are proud that the Boeing 777 has been selected to debut Qatar Airways’ new and innovative Business Class interior. With Qsuite, Qatar Airways is introducing a new level of innovation that will make flying a truly remarkable experience.” Qsuite, patented by Qatar Airways, features the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class, with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room. Adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the center four seats allow colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialize together. These new features provide the ultimate customizable travel experience that enables passengers to create an environment that suits their own unique needs.

“Embark on a majestic journey to a region full of diverse and distinctive cultures, landscapes and people. Discover a colorful and charming blend of ancient traditions and modern innovation that is just waiting to be explored.” That is how Qatar Airways, the 2017 winner of the ‘World’s Best Airline’ award, offers the southeast Asian region to its would-be passengers. Indeed, this region, where most of the countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is an exciting travel destination. For European travelers, it is Qatar Airways that provides the most convenient access to the region with quick stopovers and comfortable service on board. Apart from the aforementioned recognition, the airline’s popularity is also shown by the number of new destinations, one of which, Chiang Mai, Thailand is in the ASEAN region. Altogether, Qatar Airways serves 13 destinations in eight of the ten ASEAN countries with more than one flight a day to several of these destinations. Travelers to and from Budapest have easy – and fast – access to these through Hamad International Airport in Doha as there are 14 flights a week between the capitals of Hungary and Qatar. For example, one can set off from Singapore in the evening and arrive to Budapest the next morning thanks to a short stopover in Doha.

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A new ASEAN destination This August, Qatar Airways announced the launch of flights to “beautiful Chiang Mai”, its fourth destination in Thailand, as it expands to meet increased demand for Thai destinations from holiday-makers. The new route comes in addition to existing services

Qatar Airways is taking its world-class service to another level. As the State of Qatar’s flag carrier, Qatar Airways operates one of the world’s youngest fleets and provides its globally recognized exceptional service with airplanes such as the Airbus-built A380-800, its sister A350 XWB aircraft and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The First Class cabin features ultra-wide seats tailored in the softest fabric with signature elements. Central aisle dividers afford more privacy, which can be raised or lowered to provide a feeling of extra spaciousness when traveling with a companion. The seat automatically reclines into a fully flatbed; the table can also be extended to allow you and a companion to dine in style. Sleeper suits, flight slippers and the finest Giorgio Armani amenities add that extra touch of luxury. First Class customers can choose from the à la carte menu of signature dishes from internationally renowned chefs. A signature caviar service is also available as well as a selection of delectable desserts.

Qsuite Qatar Airways captured the spotlight on the first day of the Paris Air Show, where it presented the first of its aircraft fitted with its spectacular state-of-the-art and awardwinning Business Class seat, Qsuite. S E P T E M B E R

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AIRWAYS

In Paris this June, Qatar Airways was named – for the fourth time (after 2015, 2012 and 2011) – the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the annual award show by global industry audit Skytrax. The company also received the Best Airline in the Middle East, the World’s Best Business Class and World’s Best First Class Lounge titles. According to Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, “the Paris Air Show 2017 has once again been a tremendous success for Qatar Airways. With the debut of our first aircraft fitted with the state-of-the-art, patented Qsuite, we have truly set a new standard for the industry by bringing First Class to our

Extra touch of luxury

to the Thai capital Bangkok, and to the top holiday destinations of Phuket and Krabi. The new four-times weekly seasonal service will operate between Doha and Chiang Mai (CNX), using a wide-body aircraft, from December 2017 until May 2018. Qatar Airways first started flying to Thailand in 1996 with a service to Bangkok. Flights then followed to Phuket and Krabi. The airline currently offers five daily flights from Doha to Bangkok, as well as a double-daily service from Doha to Phuket and three flights a week from Doha to Krabi. Later this year, Krabi will become a daily service, which means the total number of flights each week to Thailand will rise to 60.

photos by QATAR

photo by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ

Airline of the Year – once again

Business Class cabin, while also winning a raft of Skytrax awards, including Airline of the Year.” Qsuite, features the industry’s first-ever double bed in Business Class, while adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the center four seats allows colleagues, friends or families travelling together to transform their space into a private suite, allowing them to work, dine and socialize together. One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 200 aircraft to a network of more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

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ASEAN: A STRONG COMMUNITY INTERVIEW WITH THE INDONESIAN AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

With the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) five decades ago, the international community could observe that the region became a more peaceful and safer place, according to the Indonesian Ambassador to Hungary, Wening Esthyprobo Fatandari. “We also have an agreement among the ASEAN member states that our territory is a nuclear-free zone. Within ASEAN, security is also very important so that no superpower picks any of our member countries as a playground.” She also highlights the economic development of the ASEAN countries and that “we are an economic, security and cultural community, as well.” In December 2016, the implementation of the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community reached 87% (fulfilling 532 of the 611 action plans). As for Indonesia, the implementation of the Community goals in 2015 created a positive contribution to economic growth with 89% compliance of its commitment (544 of the 611 action plans). The Ambassador points out that ASEAN is also an important player on the global scene. “For instance, Hungary does not have an embassy in all of the ASEAN countries but cooperation with ASEAN makes it easier to have growing relations with those countries, as well. Just recently, Hungary and the ASEAN have signed a cooperation

agreement in the field of education. It is very generous for Hungary to offer scholarships to students from our region.”

Drive for cooperation The Ambassador says that IndonesianHungarian bilateral relations are stronger day by day. Last year, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to Indonesia showed that Hungary sees Indonesia as an important partner; Indonesia was the first ASEAN country visited by Prime Minister Orbán in his second term of office. “The visit itself was indeed a success; two agreements were signed during the visit: the Agreement on Fisheries and Aquaculture Cooperation and the Memorandum on Higher Education Exchange.” Regarding trade and investment, she stresses that bilateral trade relations are a priority of both countries. The total trade between Indonesia and Hungary increased from USD 120 million in 2015 to USD 122 million in 2016. In terms of investment, from 2010 to 2016, Hungary’s investment in Indonesia increased to USD 1.163 million. It is the Ambassador’s observation that the Hungarian government’s ‘Opening to the South’ policy makes a broader avenue for cooperation, not only for ASEAN member states but also for Indonesia. “Now, we feel that Indonesia is much, much closer to Hungary. We have a lot

of friends in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Having been here as Ambassador for more than two years now, I believe education and the cultural sector play significant roles in strengthening the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, the most important drive for cooperation being higher education.” Hungary offers scholarships for 50 Indonesian students each year to study in Hungary. Also, more than 350 Hungarian students have studied in Indonesia. She points out that “when they return to Hungary, they bring with them experience, the knowledge of our culture and that is also true vice versa for Indonesian students – thus enhancing bilateral relations on the peopleto-people level. And it is not only students! Hungarian and Indonesian rectors have a forum through which they already have met four times.” Ambassador Fatandari is glad to see that business people have a growing interest in bilateral relations. “When I go to small towns in the Hungarian countryside, it is very heartening to see that small shops sell Indonesian products. Hungary has a very active ambassador in Jakarta. She likes to be engaged in a lot of things. She often meets government ministers and other officials in her efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment. So, I am convinced that the future of relations between Indonesia and Hungary is promising,” she concludes.

photo by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ

ASEAN: INSTRUMENT FOR REGIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY

photos by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ

INTERVIEW WITH THE THAI AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

“As you may know, when the Bangkok Declaration was signed in 1967 establishing ASEAN, Southeast Asia was full of conflict and strife, in part due to the Cold War and in part due to the unresolved issues left from the colonial era. The Thai Foreign Minister at that time got together with his counterparts from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore to discuss the possibility of establishing a grouping that would allow the ministers to meet informally and discuss issues affecting the region. Expectations weren’t terribly high, since there had been a couple of unsuccessful attempts at regional cooperation before. ASEAN did not make waves in its early years, either, but after Cambodia was invaded ASEAN took the lead at the United Nations to resolve the issue diplomatically. So playing this effective role in maintaining regional stability and peace marked the entrance of ASEAN to the global stage.” That is how the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand, Jakkrit Srivali describes the birth and early development of ASEAN into a historical perspective for Diplomacy&Trade. He also emphasizes that ASEAN’s ability to maintain peace in the region created a climate that was conducive to growth and prosperity as seen, for instance, in the growth of ASEAN’s overall trade w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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from USD ten billion in 1967 to USD 2.3 trillion by 2015. “Thanks in large part to continued peace and stability, the region – with a population of 630 million – also became a magnet for foreign direct investment, which stood at USD 120 billion in 2015.”

Thailand and Hungary Diplomatic relations between Thailand and Hungary were established in 1973 and the Thai Embassy in Budapest opened in 1989. The Ambassador points out that at that time, the volume of bilateral trade was rather low, about USD 100 million a year, but in 2015, it was much higher at USD 616 million. “It is not huge but I think for a trade partner the size of Hungary, it is quite respectable. We export to Hungary computers, automobiles and parts, printed circuits, and electrical appliances. We mainly import machinery, animal products and pharmaceutical products from Hungary. However, we have other products to offer, like electronic goods, and agricultural products such as rice and seafood. There is also potential for us to import more from Hungary, such as goose liver and wine, since Hungary also has a developed agricultural sector.” In terms of investment, Hungarian companies have invested in Thailand in a total value of about USD 40 million. As for Thai companies in Hungary, there is

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only one big company, Thai President Foods, which bought a factory in Esztergom where it produces instant noodles. “This company is a pioneer in Hungary and I believe their experience here can help convince others to come and invest in the country and the region. Other firms in Thailand are also interested in exploring opportunities in Eastern and Central Europe, particularly as a gateway to the European Union. We hope that Hungarian businesses will look to Thailand as a gateway to ASEAN, and especially mainland Southeast Asia, since Thailand is a regional logistics and infrastructure hub, and the mainland ASEAN countries have extremely high growth potential,” Ambassador Srivali says. As regards other aspects of bilateral relations, about 24,000 Hungarian tourist go to Thailand in a year, while some 3,000 Thais visit Hungary annually. He stresses that cultural diplomacy is one of the priorities of the Embassy. “We are organising several activities like Thai cooking training classes, a Thai cooking video competition and a Thai Festival in the City Park this September. We are also working with the Hungarian government on a Thai boxing training course for Hungarian military officers. We hope that such activities will generate better understanding and appreciation of Thailand among the Hungarian public.”

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FLEXIBILITY AND PERSEVERANCE INTERVIEW WITH THE PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

As Maria Fe T. Pangilinan, the Ambassador to Hungary of one the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines, explains to Diplomacy & Trade, the creation of ASEAN was a response by these countries (with varying cultures and levels of development) amidst the political realities of the times, with a vision of a region independently guided by Southeast Asian countries. “The strength of ASEAN is demonstrated by its resilience, flexibility, and perseverance in responding to both external and internal environments driven by common goals for the Southeast Asian people.” In ASEAN, the resolution of any internal or external conflict is achieved through consensus, since trust, confidence, and friendship have been established among the leaders and the various institutions. This is the famous ‘ASEAN Way’,” she adds. In the economic field, members signed the ASEAN Free Trade Area Agreement in 1993. This was the foundation of what would eventually be the ASEAN Economic Community. In 2013, the ASEAN Charter was signed, paving the way for greater regional connectivity and the creation of the ASEAN Community. Today, the priorities of ASEAN have been laid out in the three pillars of the ASEAN

of Human Capacities. The Philippines established its embassy in Budapest in 1973.” Last May, Philippine Secretary of Agriculture Emmanuel Piñol led a Philippine delegation to Hungary to explore possible bilateral cooperation in various areas of agriculture. This September, Philippine agricultural experts will visit Hungary in order to observe rice production technologies, rice marketing processes, post-harvest logistics, and packaging techniques. In October Hungarian experts will also visit the Philippines. The Ambassador mentioned that several Filipino scholars have benefitted, or are benefitting, from the Educational and Scientific Exchange Program between the Philippines and Hungary. The Philippines will participate in the National Agriculture and Food Exhibition (OMÉK) to be held in Budapest in September. The Philippine Secretary of Agriculture will visit Hungary again for the event and meet with government officials and private business leaders. Chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED), will visit Hungary in the first week of December 2017 with a delegation of representatives from Philippine higher education institutions. “Simply put, we expect a very bright future ahead for both Hungary and the Philippines,” Ambassador Pangilinan concludes.

Community: political-security, economic, and socio-cultural. The community aims to ensure the centrality of ASEAN on regional matters, present the bloc as a unified front in negotiations with traditional and non-traditional partners, and create opportunities for regional development – envisioning by 2025 a very strong ASEAN, more united as a community. ASEAN is already a large market of consumers and an engine of economic growth, with a population of 625 million, including a huge labor force that is young, highly-skilled, highlyeducated, and dynamic, with poverty having been reduced to one-fourth of the population. There is a golden opportunity presented by ASEAN for businesses who wish to tap into this.

The Philippines and Hungary Ambassador Pangilinan is happy to note that bilateral relations are accelerating, with mutual interests being discovered by her country and Hungary. She believes that “the re-opening of the Hungarian Embassy in Manila last March 2017 served as a catalyst to speed up the growth of our relations. Foreign Minister Szijjártó graced the occasion and signed several bilateral agreements: the Agreement on Economic Cooperation; an MoU between the Philippines’ Foreign Service Institute and Hungary’s

Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade; and a Cultural Cooperation Program between the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Hungary’s Ministry

THE ASEAN GATEWAY FOR HUNGARY

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from 2015. This makes Hungary Singapore’s 12th largest EU trading partner. Hungary also ranks as the EU’s 15th largest investor into Singapore. “We expect trade and investment volumes to grow, with the ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA). These strengthening political and economic ties create greater mutual understanding and awareness between our peoples. We see more Singaporeans visiting Hungary each year for education and tourism. In turn, we also see rising tourism from Hungary, and Singapore hopes to host more Hungarians in the coming years. There are opportunities for collaboration between our companies in the manufacturing; transport and logistics; wholesale trade; and ICT sectors. We hope to see partnerships in investment or the development of new manufacturing technologies, joint development in logistics infrastructure and Special Economic Zones, as well as in the provision of ICT services. As Hungary’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, Singapore is a gateway to the region for Hungarian businesses. Singapore is well-positioned to serve as a test-bed for Hungarian businesses to trial new technologies before scaling and expanding into the region. There are about 82 Hungarian companies in Singapore, and we welcome more to leverage Singapore’s connectivity to the region to tap on the growing opportunities in ASEAN,” Ambassador Ng concludes.

Leaders and their counterparts have built personal rapport and mutual understanding. This creates a conducive environment to peacefully resolve differences, and work towards the common vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.”

Singapore and Hungary

and the US – which strengthens ties between Southeast Asia and other regions. “This ASEANcentric regional architecture provides a neutral platform for stakeholders to cooperate and address emerging regional challenges. Through regular meetings at these platforms, ASEAN

“At the political level, we are very excited to welcome Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to Singapore later this month. His visit comes after state visits by President János Áder to Singapore in 2015, and our former President Dr. Tony Tan to Budapest in 2013. Our parliamentarians have also exchanged visits – in 2015, Chairman of the Foreign Commission of the Hungarian National Assembly Zsolt Németh visited Singapore, while our former Parliament Speaker Halimah Yacob visited Hungary. Our two countries established the Hungary-Singapore Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group in 2014. We also see growth in business-to-business exchanges. Already, our companies enjoy close collaboration with one another. For example, Singapore company Hyflux is in a joint venture with Hungarian consumer water technology company Kaqun to grow their consumer products business in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa,” the Ambassador explains. Trade between Singapore and Hungary is growing. In 2016, total bilateral trade amounted to about EUR 700 million, a 50% increase S E P T E M B E R

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“ASEAN was founded in 1967, at the height of the Cold War, when the region was racked with political instability, hostility between Southeast Asian states, and Communist insurgencies. ASEAN was conceived with a shared vision: unity against external threats, and peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia. At ASEAN’s founding meeting, Singapore’s then-Foreign Minister S Rajaratnam told his colleagues, ‘if we do not hang together, we will hang separately’. Over its 50 years of existence, ASEAN has successfully created one of the most peaceful and stable regions in the world. With peace and stability as a foundation, we embarked on the journey of regional integration to enlarge ASEAN member states’ political and economic space on the global stage. This has provided our peoples the access to markets and opportunities both within the region and beyond, creating jobs and bringing prosperity.” This is how the Singapore Ambassador to Hungary Ng Shin Ein summarizes the achievements of the ASEAN cooperation for Diplomacy&Trade. She adds that ASEAN engages various regional and external players through the many ASEANled processes, such as the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus. ASEAN also holds regular dialogue with its ten Dialogue Partners – namely Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea,

HARANGOZÓ, 183CREATIVESTUDIO

INTERVIEW WITH THE SINGAPORE AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

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CELLUM – A HUNGARIAN PARTNER IN ASIA HUNGARIAN COMPANY PROVIDES SUCCESSFUL MOBILE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS Trends, opportunities and challenges This May, at a conference in Myanmar, János Kóka spoke about the trends, opportunities and challenges of mobile payments in the frontier markets, like those in Southeast Asia. “Obviously, each country in the region is somewhat different but a common characteristic we see, with the exception of Singapore and Thailand, is that payment card penetration remains low, while smartphone penetration shows stellar growth. This, of course, is great news for a mobile payments company like Cellum,” Kóka says. As for Singapore in particular, he believes the country has unique opportunities in the region, which it has managed to exploit for its own benefit in the areas of banking and logistics. “The next big challenge is how it is going to perform in the race for technological supremacy. China and the US have been pushing aggressively in the region, and it is time for Singapore to make a move. Cellum offers its partnership for this,” he adds.

photos by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ, COURTESY PICTURE

Hungary’s Cellum Group, an international provider of mobile transaction solutions, has been present for several years in the ASEAN region, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. When asked what conditions attracted the company to Southeast Asia, to Singapore initially, Cellum Chairman and CEO János Kóka explained to Diplomacy&Trade: “Singapore is a wonderful country. I have recently had the pleasure of attending the National Day Parade and had the opportunity to talk briefly with Prime Minister Lee. His words and the country’s competitive position reaffirmed in my belief that we made the right choice. Besides our general focus on and expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, we are also in negotiations regarding a significant digital payment project in Singapore.” Over the past couple of months, Cellum has increasingly attracted attention from the investment community. The company intends to bring in an investment partner from Asia to strengthen its position on the local market, and it expects tens of millions of US dollars’ worth of revenue from the region within the next three years. “We are also looking for cooperation opportunities between Cellum’s R&D center in Hungary and a number of Singaporean research institutes. Our goal is to provide cashless payment methods to hundreds of millions of people in the region, and to offer millions of merchants the option of low-cost or free mobile transactions,” he adds. w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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Kóka highlights that Cellum has good relations with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Infocomm Development Agency and other state agencies. “We have reached out to A-Star to identify cooperation opportunities in research and development. We have also had discussions with the Smart Nation GovTech Office about best practices we have seen around the world and how we could take them to Singapore.” The Cellum Chairman and CEO has a high opinion of Singapore's new Ambassador to Hungary, Ng Shin Ein who is “a remarkable asset for the Singaporean-Hungarian relationship, and a great partner to the Hungarian ambassador in the Asian country, Dr. István Szerdahelyi,

another successful and experienced diplomat. The new Singaporean ambassador, with her extensive business experiences in Asia and Europe, along with her profound understanding of the perspectives of trade, investment and innovation co-operation, represent an unparalleled opportunity for Hungarian businesses to gain a foothold in Singapore and beyond. Apart from Singapore, we are actively discussing digital transformation and financial inclusion programs with the governments of Indonesia and Myanmar. They are interested to learn from the best international practices and we jointly explore the ways we can efficiently implement them in the region.”

Zero frauds or chargebacks One of Cellum’s strengths is security with zero frauds or chargebacks. How can this excellent record be achieved in this world full of hackers and news of security flaws? The Chairman and CEO points out that his firm has some of the best experts in IT security and cryptography that Hungary has to offer. “Our company spent years developing cryptographic technology for mobile phones before we even began working on our first payment solutions. Security is absolutely our number one concern, we have put thousands of man-hours towards creating a transaction platform that offers the highest degree of security possible on a mobile device.” He stresses that security is not just tools and methods of protecting data – it is a way of thinking. “In the payment industry, PCI DSS compliance is a must, but we wanted to go further than just being able to check all the boxes on a list of standardized requirements. While we do continuously monitor and develop the security of our platform, our goal was to build an IT product that even if hackers found a way into our systems, they wouldn’t be able to steal sensitive user data. And we did just that. Our partners, among whom are some of the largest banks in Central Europe, also demand that we meet all sorts of legal and security requirements, so we work together with them on a constant basis in these areas as well.”

Economic diplomacy at work Successful operations in Southeast Asia require the establishment of good cooperation with governments, infotech supervisory bodies and local companies, etc. in the region. Himself having been a high-ranking government official (Hungary’s Minister of Economy and Transport between 2004 and 2007), János

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▶ SINGAPORE AMBASSADOR MS. NG SHIN EIN, JÁNOS KÓKA AND HIS SON DÁNIEL AT THE AUGUST 9 NATIONAL DAY PARADE

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analysis

THE POOR (OIL-RICH) VENEZUELA

that 7 million people, some 40% of the voting population took part in the referendum on July 16th, while the elections two weeks later for the National Constitutional Assembly resulted in an overwhelming victory for President Maduro as each of the 545 members indicated his/her support of a new constitution. Nicolás Maduro has resorted to the familiar clichés of the Latin American aspiring dictators insofar as he accused the opposition with conspiring foreign agents, especially the United States. The British-based electoral consulting group, Smartmatic, which had been hired to handle the elections, meanwhile announced that there were widespread election frauds on July 30th and fake election ballot tickets in excess of a million were added to the total.

THE VICTIMS OF IDEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN MISGUIDED SOCIAL ENGINEERING BY TAMÁS MAGYARICS

The South American country is a basket case of almost all the problems a society may face. People have to put up with almost daily clashes with the different law enforcement units of the government, including the police and the military. Some 130 people were killed and thousands injured since the past April when the anti-government demonstrations became more and more frequent and vocal. Shortage of food and other commodities is also the stark reality of everyday life: those who cannot afford the exorbitant black-market prices have had to suffer from a ’Maduro diet,’ i.e. malnutrition. It is especially the health system that is hard hit; medicines are in short supply despite help from Cuba. Inflation is rampant: the IMF projection for 2017 is 720%, and 2,068 for 2018 (though, one wonders how this exact number was figured out). Venezuela’s cash at hand has been reduced from USD 30 billion (2011) to USD 10 billion this year. Not every indicator is falling though; for instance, violent crime is up; walking in the streets in Caracas even during daytime is a risky business, likewise stopping your car at the red light is seen as an invitation for the robbers. This dire situation is in a country that is sitting on a huge oil reserve.

Begun by Hugo Chavez

to some extent). Although, the Cold War was over, it is beyond any dispute that Washington would not be overly happy with a red/pink Latin America in the western hemisphere. A special problem for the U.S. was that Hugo Chavez looked and sounded authentic; he was charismatic in the eyes of a large number of Venezuelans (and Latin Americans in general), where yankee-bashing can also count on a relatively large following for historical reasons.

Intervention unlikely The Venezuelan situation has the potential of a major upheaval in the region. Its neighbors are worried that the unrest will affect them as well, while President Donald Trump (and Vice President Mike Pence) hinted that ’nothing is off the table’ in case the Venezuelan situation threatened the stability of the region. The saberrattling in Washington may cut in both directions: it may make President Maduro more cautious in his power grab, but is may as well strengthen his hands as any overt or covert U.S. interference in the domestic affairs of a Latin American country is likely to rally the people behind their leaders even if they are unpopular among large segments of the society. President Trump’s bombast should also be discounted: one of the last things the U.S. would like to do is get into a major confrontation in Latin America at a time when it faces strategic challenges in the Far East, in the greater Middle East and Eastern Europe (Russia), and the precariousness of the Trump Administration’s positions at home. The activities of President Nicolás Maduro can be irritating for a lot of people inside and outside Venezuela, but an international conflagration around the country is unlikely in the short run.

A bus driver takes over Things started to get even worse when Hugo Chavez died in 2013. His designated successor, who was duly elected to be the leader of the United Socialist Party, used to be a bus driver, then a trade union official, and then a member of Chavez’s inner circle. Nicolás Maduro won the presidential election in April 2013 with a narrow margin. He dedicated himself to continuing the ’Bolivarian Revolution’ without his predecessor’s talent and charisma, but with his predecessor’s bullying tactics and leftist orthodoxy in a deteriorating international and domestic economic environment. The economic mismanagement was coupled with political repression. The opposition, besides staging mass demonstrations and protests, organized a non-binding referendum this year against President Maduro’s proposal to hold elections for a new National Constitutional Assembly as it suspected that the President would intend to expand his power, in reality, to introduce a sort of dictatorship with the cooperation of the hand-picked body. The figures reported by both sides should be handled with a grain of salt: the opposition claimed

Tamás Magyarics is a foreign policy analyst

photo by EFECTO

ECO/WIKIPEDIA

Stating the obvious, the causes are manifold. Financially, the single most important factor is the dramatic drop in oil prices in the past few

years: while a barrel of oil was sold for USD 100 in 2014, right now, it is worth half the price. One of the consequences is that Venezuela is not able to generate enough income to pay for its imports (including food, medicine, advanced technology, etc.); its imports are down by 50% from a year ago. The deeper problem is, though, the ideologically driven misguided social engineering introduced by the late Hugo Chavez, who initiated a ’Bolivarian Revolution’ in 1999 by introducing a new constitution whose major point was the termination of presidential term limits. The one-time military man Chavez intended to join the Latin American (communist) dictators’ group of the Castro-brothers and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. His policies could best be termed as voluntaristic, including cutting the prices of the most important commodities so that everyone could afford them. Otherwise, his ’diet’ for the people of Venezuela was predominantly composed of long-winded speeches, harangues against the ’imperialists’ and, of course, the United States, claiming (sometimes not without any basis) that Washington was engaged in undermining his power and the ’Bolivarian Revolution’. In fact, seen from the U.S., the Castro-Ortega-Chavez axis did not seem to be too appealing, as officials in Washington were afraid of the export of radical left-wing ideas (re-enforced with weapons and money) into other Latin American countries (Evo Morales in Bolivia was an early convert). In reality, besides these hard-left leaders there were so-called soft-left presidents in countries such as Brazil and Chile (and in Argentina

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business

UNAVOIDABLE BUT NOT SELF SERVING GDPR DATA PROTECTION LEGISLATION

As of May 25, 2018, Hungarian companies face new EU data protection regulations. Although, they only need to comply from that date, it is well worth beginning preparations now.

Thus, companies have an obligation to provide information – within 72 hours – to the relevant supervisory authorities and, where appropriate, to the affected users, in the event of incidents (such as hacker attacks). If they do not, the fines mentioned above will be imposed. The punishment is not mandatory, though, decision is at the sole discretion the data protection authority. Included in the term personal data is any document, or even the smallest bit of data that can be linked to an individual customer. The regulation makes it necessary to pseudo name and encrypt personal data, to ensure the systems, services, integrity and availability of data management systems. It should also be ensured that data can be restored in case of any incident. In order to guarantee the security of data management, constant testing and evaluation is also required. In addition to the required encryption, a disaster recovery plan, password recovery and key management systems are also recommended.

Mitigation law. So, there is enough "incentive" but exactly what expectations will have to be met next year.

GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the EU's 1995 Privacy Policy in an attempt to provide a more uniform and effective foundation for personal data protection within the EU, including online environments. For companies, it means that if their customers' personal data (from name, to religion, to healthcare data), is stored and used, they are subject to accountability for personal data protection.

There are mitigating circumstances, although, they mostly concern the provision of information not measures taken for prevention. For example, informing those affected is not mandatory if the data controller has applied the required security solutions (encryption, etc.) or has taken further action after the incident to avoid the risk of data leakage.

Summary The purpose of the bill is accountability and safer data management in the field of modern technology solutions (such as cloud) and crossborder data management. It can help keep

ADVICE

GDPR is a comprehensive regulation that is discussed in every detail in this article. The full text is available at the following link: gdpr-info.eu/ For the application of this legislation, it is advisable to seek advice from a specialist, not only to avoid the imposition of a large amount of fine, but also because the security of the customers' data is also in the interest of the company – sometimes the loss of confidence is even more damaging than the financial loss.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT: THE SIX Rs

• • • • • •

Revenue: the fine is 4% of annual sales revenue or EUR 20 million; Reputation (business value): businesses must report an incident involving the data within 72 hours; Resource: the appointment of Data Protection Officer and Official is mandatory; Results: a data protection feasibility study and internal regulations are mandatory; Retroactive: the data controller must take all reasonable steps beyond the retention period in order to permanently delete data (from save, media, image, etc.); Remote: In some cases, an electronic channel should be provided for those affected to submit their claims.

photo by CAN

STOCK PHOTO INC.

Today, the abbreviation GDPR does not mean much to most people, but it will become part of everyday life in less than a year. Due to recent blackmail viruses and the scandalous Budapest Transport Center ethical hacker case, there has been a lot of talk about data protection in the press, but EU legislation makes sure that cybercrime is one the minds of company managers on a daily basis in the future. That is because even if they do not feel the urge to deal with this issue, they will certainly pay attention to the possibility of a fine of EUR 20 million (or 4% of the annual sales revenue) for those who do not meet the requirements of the

users safe and aware of any incidental data leakage. While the GDPR strengthens data protection audits, expectations should be (or should have been) met by companies, taking merely common sense into account (the Hungarian regulation is already sufficiently strict). From this new legislation on, irresponsible data controllers ignoring these security solutions will be severely punished. It is time to start preparations, and it is a good idea to ask for expert help, not just because you have to face serious financial consequences next year, but also because cybercrime is present in our lives on a daily basis.

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witty leaks WITTY

LE A K S

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

YOGA AND THERMAL WATER INDIAN NATURAL REMEDIES PROMOTED IN HUNGARY BY THE AMBASSADOR OF INDIA, RAHUL CHHABRA

My mission as Ambassador of the Republic of India to Hungary commenced in August 2015. I have travelled extensively and seen several beautiful small villages and hidden gems of cities and met many Hungarians. What surprised me was Hungarian faith in alternative therapy, using thermal waters. Indian culture has intrigued not only Hungarians, but people the world over. However, the first Hungarian known to have visited India, György Huszti, was not motivated by academic or cultural ambitions. He reached the western coast of the sub-continent in 1538 as a slave in the army of the Turkish sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. Huszti was a learned man and wrote an account of his experiences. Hungarians had their first contacts with Indian culture through intermediaries. During my interaction with students, journalists, academicians, politicians, businessmen and artists, what amazes me about the people here are their relentless questions about India, even in this day and age of Google! Over the last few years, a large number of Hungarians have visited India, not only for tourism but also for rejuvenation therapy, especially Kerala, a state in Southern India; referred to as ‘God’s own country’! To facilitate the growing number of Hungarians traveling to India, the Government of India has introduced ‘e-visa’ which can be procured without visiting the embassy.

healthy living. The aim of practicing Yoga is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness and harmony. Millions of people across the globe practice Yoga on a daily basis. We are raising the awareness of a conscious lifestyle among people and for the third time since the adoption of International Day of Yoga we have organized a full weekend of Yoga along with traditional Indian cultural performances in 15 cities in Hungary and three cities in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Ayurveda and Yoga in Hungary In addition, we are receiving strong and positive feedback regarding alternative medicine. The increasing interest toward it is reflected in the reopening of the Ayurveda Therapist and Counsellor Education Program at the University of Miskolc. Dr. Professor Asmita Wele from India is the head of the Ayurveda Chair at the University of Debrecen. Dr. Wele has conducted detailed research on the benefits of curcumin, a compound in turmeric. University of Debrecen is also establishing a European Institute of Ayurvedic Studies. We at the embassy are glad to observe that Hungarians have a desire to understand and acquire a deeper knowledge on the philosophy of Ayurveda and Yoga. The growing number of practitioners and high number of university applicants are the key evidence of that.

Nature as medicine

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not only in Hungary, but worldwide. In Hungary, Ayurveda was incorporated as an official health care system, in 1997 by the Government Act on Naturopathy. Furthermore, Ayurveda was mentioned in the First Hungarian Pharmacopoea in 1879. We have observed that many thermal facilities offer ayurvedic massages as a form of treatment. Indian Professors are invited globally and their lectures on Ayurveda, held in different universities including in Hungary, are very well received. It is a great motivation for us that Hungarians have deep interest in this field.

AYUSH Not only Hungarians but also the international community eagerly await our events comprised of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, abbreviated as AYUSH Day, that are held

Personally, I am happy that in Hungary I am able to combine the practice of Yoga with the joy of thermal water as there are spas offering Water Yoga classes. It is very therapeutic; water Yoga perfectly improves balance sensation, motion coordination, and enhances muscle flexibility. I recommend it to everybody, from beginners to experts and even for non-swimmers. Aquatic yoga in thermal water relaxes the rigid muscles, tones joints, and their deeper relaxation promotes faster regeneration, correction of poor body posture and also promotes positive thinking. Let me end with a quote by the legendary and world-famous Hungarian orientalist and philologist, Sándor Kőrösi Csoma, who visited India in the early part of the 19th century: "Seek and explore because no nation can find as many treasures in the ancient Indian cradle of culture to enrich its own as the Hungarian society."

bi-annually and that attract hundreds of people. We have created an Ayush Information Center within the chancery building to promote knowledge on Ayurveda. It features books, brochures and sample materials. Our professional expert Dr. K.K. Shajahan, Yoga and Naturopathy doctor, is available by appointment every Thursday afternoon for private consultations, free of charge. Yoga is a gift to mankind from India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal to the world community to adopt an international day was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. This initiative was co-sponsored with a record 177 countries to establish June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The Embassy also organizes yoga classes. Yoga works on one’s body, mind, emotion and energy. It is an art and science for S E P T E M B E R

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Yoga and thermal water

photos by BALÁZS

We are all aware that all life on Earth is inextricably linked, and we are all part of the same collection of material that makes up the entire cosmos. Nature has been providing medicines to treat our diseases and making biologically active compounds for billions of years. Plants have served as the starting point for numerous drugs in the market today. Ayurveda, the world’s oldest medical system, is an herbal medicinal science, with historical roots practised on the Indian subcontinent for over 5,000 years. It is based on the belief that our health depends on the balance between mind, body and spirit. It tackles the root cause of the malady. Questions on Ayurvedic healing and health are often asked of me: how all this can be incorporated in their daily lives. For me and for my fellow Indians, alternative medicine plays a significant role in everyday life. Increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of the benefits of complementary medicines. I am proud that Ayurveda plays a significant role and enjoys an increasing popularity

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society India Independence Day In celebration of the 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence, Ambassador Rahul Chhabra welcomed guests to the Embassy Lawns at his residence in the Buda Hills. The event included a flag hoisting ceremony as well as greetings and a reading of the President’s message by Ambassador Chhabra.

Swiss Confederation Day In order to celebrate the 726th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary, Peter Burkhard welcomed guests, including members of the diplomatic corps, at the Ambassadorial residence in Budapest.

Morocco Enthronement Day The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, Karima Kabbaj hosted a reception at the Budapest Marriott Hotel to celebrate her country’s Enthronement Day, commemorating the coronation in 1999 of King Mohammed. Guests enjoyed traditional Moroccan music and food at the reception.

HARANGOZÓ

The 50th anniversary of ASEAN

photos by DÁVID

The Ambassadors of the ASEAN countries who reside in Budapest invited guests to the Flag Hoisting Ceremony at the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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what's on DEPECHE MODE - GLOBAL SPIRIT TOUR

HUNGARORING CLASSIC, COURTESY PICTURES

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO / AMAZONAS IMAGES (TEUREUM, SIKEIREI AND LEADER OF THE MENTAWAI CLAN. INDONESIA. 2008.), KONOK.HU, ZSOLT SZIGETVÁRY, COURTESY PICTURE

photos by

photos by

FEBRUARY 2 LÁSZLÓ PAPP BUDAPEST SPORTS ARENA Following an incredible, sold-out show in May at the Groupama Arena, Depeche Mode returns to Hungary within its Global Spirit Tour for an indoor show in February, 2018! This tour is in support of the group's 14th studio album, Spirit. It finds the band continuing their charity partnership with Swiss watchmaker Hublot, raising money and awareness for ‘Charity: water’ toward its mission of providing safe drinking water to everyone in the world. The Global Spirit Tour is the 18th concert tour of the band and its first live performance in 3 years. Although, they provide inspiration for countless artists, critics continue to see them as "still epoch-making" and "increasingly prolific artists with time." However, despite of having sold over 100 million albums and having held concerts for more than 30 million fans worldwide, Depeche Mode has not become complacent. With the Spirit album and the Global Spirit Tour, the band continues to pursue musical innovation alongside critical and audience success. www.livenation.hu

ROAD SONGS FOR LOVERS – CHRIS REA NOVEMBER 6 LÁSZLÓ PAPP BUDAPEST SPORTS ARENA For Chris Rea, 2017 marks his new album Road Songs for Lovers, which will be available in September. A record of beautiful rock ballads that showcases the artist’s unique voice and writing talent at the highest level. Like all truly great artists, Chris Rea has followed his own unique artistic vision and a path that is his and his alone. Artist and painter, blues aficionado and self-confessed motoring nut, filmmaker and Italian-influenced classical music composer, eclectic and maverick are two terms that hardly come close to describing a man who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide by just being himself. In 2017 Rea returns to what he’s best known for: an album of gorgeous rock ballads which showcases Rea’s unique voice and a songwriting skill at the top of his game. "The ‘Road Songs for Lovers’ proves one thing: you can add beautiful, poignant rock 'n' roll love songs to that pantheon of passions," the artist says. www.livenation.hu

HUNGARORING CLASSIC 2017

SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 1 HUNGARORING Legendary vehicles, memorable racing cars and classic old cars – this is the Hungaroring Classic, the first and largest festival of classic cars in Central Europe. It is a special occasion where race cars of past fame demonstrate what made them unforgettable. Numerous brands, types, and unique racing cars will be displayed in this special weekend program. It is a classic car championship on the classic F1 circuit – just outside Budapest – that has been home to the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986. The program of Hungaroring Classic is expanding from week to week, and the organizers are keen to welcome collectors - and inspire them – by giving owners of cars manufactured before 1978 a free opportunity to exhibit their vehicles. Collectors will have access to the paddock area and not only individuals, but clubs may also join the car-show. It is a special opportunity for car owners to drive a few laps with their own cars on the asphalt track of the Hungaroring. hungaroringclassic.com

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what's on SEHENSWERT FILM FESTIVAL

HUNGARORING CLASSIC, COURTESY PICTURES

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO / AMAZONAS IMAGES (TEUREUM, SIKEIREI AND LEADER OF THE MENTAWAI CLAN. INDONESIA. 2008.), KONOK.HU, ZSOLT SZIGETVÁRY, COURTESY PICTURE

photos by

photos by

SEPTEMBER 21-30 MŰVÉSZ CINEMA, BUDAPEST Organized jointly by the Swiss Embassy, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Goethe Institute in Budapest, the Sehenswert Film Festival gives a taste of the cinematography of the German-speaking countries to the Hungarian audience – with original audio and Hungarian subtitles or interpretation (most films also have English subtitles). One of the biggest sensations of the festival is expected to be a movie portraying a section of the life of the ‘great emigrant of German culture’, director Fritz Lang, who died in the United states in 1976. His best known film, M (‘Murderers Among Us’) – a classic production from 1931 – will also be screened. The festival of close to twenty films primarily deals with social and psychological issues as well as with the history of the 20th century. The program includes movies like ‘Wild Mouse’ by Josef Hader and the first interactive cinema feature ‘Late Shift’ in which the course of action is decided by the votes of the audience. www.szemrevalofesztival.hu

BUDAPEST WINE FESTIVAL

SEPTEMBER 7-10 THE TERRACES OF THE BUDA CASTLE The Budapest Wine Festival, said to be the most beautiful in Europe, opens for the 26th time in September. Enjoy the most impressive panorama of the Hungarian capital from the Castle and thousands of wines from nearly 200 domestic and foreign exhibitors. It is, without doubt, the biggest celebration of wine and culture available. The festival's rich music offering makes the festival even more thrilling. On a grand stage and on three other stages, many popular performers and young talents make the first days of Indian summer unforgettable. www.aborfesztival.hu

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO: GENESIS

SEPTEMBER 6 – NOVEMBER 12 THE ART HALL IN BUDAPEST Genesis is the third long-term series on global issues by world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado (born Brazil, 1944), following Workers (1993) and Migrations (2000). The result of an eight-year worldwide survey, the exhibition draws together more than 200 spectacular black and white photographs of wildlife, landscapes, seascapes, and indigenous peoples – raising public awareness about the pressing issues of environment and climate change. With breathtakingly beautiful recordings of more than thirty trips – on foot, aboard light aircraft, cruise ships, canoes and even hot air balloons in extremely cold and hot, often dangerous conditions, Salgado presents nature, fauna and indigenous peoples. Salgado, highly-skilled in the monochrome photography, gives a new dimension to black and white photography. In his works, the vibrations of the tones and the contrasts of light and shadow recalls the old great masters such as Rembrandt or George de la Tour. mucsarnok.hu

MEET SUMMER DESIGN

SEPTEMBER 10 ERZSÉBET SQUARE IN DOWNTOWN BUDAPEST The WAMP (Sunday art market) design fair is a community event taking place once or more than once a month in the hub of Budapest where emerging Hungarian designers showcase their works. It is a place where design meets urban Hungarians, tourists and ex-pats. It is also a meeting place for creative and trend setter young people. WAMP opens up to the world once a year, and invites the greatest talents and design professionals from around the globe to showcase their work and talent in Budapest. WAMP often joins festivals, exhibitions and other events with a limited selection of designers. WAMP often cooperates with other initiates, likes working on projects and takes part in the implementation of design competitions. The works of these joint projects are often exhibited at the WAMP fair. This is how the painted plastic cows, the suitcases of the KLM design competition and the Fashion show of the Budapest Design Week arrived at the design fair in past years. wamp.hu/en

SARAH BRIGHTMAN ROYAL CHRISTMAS GALA

GALLERY WEEKEND BUDAPEST

SEPTEMBER 9-10 BUDAPEST The Association of Hungarian Contemporary Art Galleries and the Creative Platform Contemporary Art Foundation organize Gallery Weekend Budapest for the fourth year in 2017, the gallery festival of Hungarian contemporary fine arts, with the support of the Municipality of Budapest, the Budapest City Identity Nonprofit Ltd. and B. Braun Hungary. For a weekend, everything is about contemporary fine arts in Budapest: presentations in art galleries, openings and tours in the best private galleries. The participating galleries represent a select elite of the Budapest art scene: Art+Text Budapest, Chimera-Project Gallery, Deák Erika Gallery, Faur Zsófi Gallery, Horizont Gallery, INDA Gallery, Kisterem, Knoll Gallery, Molnár Ani Gallery, Várfok Gallery and VILTIN Gallery. www.galleryweekendbudapest.com

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DECEMBER 20 LÁSZLÓ PAPP BUDAPEST SPORTS ARENA After thirteen years, Sarah Brightman, the most successful soprano of all time, will appear on stage in Hungary. As part of the Royal Christmas Gala, one of the most popular and most spectacular Christmas shows in the world, the artist, together with the Gregorian vocal ensemble, is expected to dazzle the Hungarian audience this December. Sarah Brightman’s performance is promising to be one of the most exciting and most spectacular productions of the Christmas season. Brightman, along with numerous guests, performs traditional Christmas songs with a great band accompaniment. Sarah Brightman has sold 32 million albums during her 30-year career, with over 180 gold and platinum albums. The 56-year-old soprano is the only artist in the world who was invited to play the official hymn of the event at two Olympic Games, in front of a total of seven million viewers. www.budapestarena.hu

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cinema

JAMESON CINEFEST

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL IN MISKOLC RECOGNIZES CZECH ARTISTS

The 14th annual Jameson CineFest, Hungary’s leading cinema event, opens its gate with the screening of ‘Shortcuts’ aka ‘Cutting it Short’ (1981) on September 8 in the northeastern Hungarian city of Miskolc with the director, JiřiMenzel and the leading actress, Magda Vásáryová as special guests. The Academy Award winner director is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, while the actress and diplomat Vásáryová has been chosen as the recipient of the Europe Award founded last year. Menzel is one of the most influential figures of Central European cinema. His first movie ‘Closely Watched Trains’ won the Oscar in 1968. The film ‘Larks on Strings’ shot one year after the Oscar was withheld by censors and released only in 1989 and that year, it won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale – something that had been unprecedented before. Magda Vásáryová was just 19 when she played the leading role in the Czech film ‘Marketa Lazarova’. The nearly three-hour widescreen epic is considered by critics and film historians as one of the European masterpieces of the golden years of the 1960s. A few years back, the premiere of its digitally re-mastered copy was a true headliner. The actress is not only acknowledged for dozens of great roles but also for her career in politics. After the fall of the Communist regime, she became a politician and a diplomat, and even a presidential candidate in Slovakia. She also served as ambassador (first of Czechoslovakia and then of Slovakia) and State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. The actress and politician speaks several languages and has a truly European point of view. After Juliette Binoche in 2016, she is named Ambassador of the European Cinema by the 14th Jameson CineFest in 2017.

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photos by TAMÁS

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hospitality

COMFORT WITH TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS NEW CONFERENCE FACILITIES IN THE CASTLE DISTRICT The opening ceremony of Hilton Budapest’s Ballroom, on June 1st this year, marked the completion of Phase 3 in the hotel’s comprehensive renovation project. As a result, the first floor of the building now offers a completely renovated Ballroom as well as a modern conference center satisfying all needs.

As far as the interior of the Ballroom and the related conference and meeting rooms were concerned, British design house Goddard & Littlefair was tasked with creating spaces fully in line with the existing image while also meeting the requirements of Hilton Budapest’s elegance and the business sphere. Another important aspect was that the multi-functional rooms may be used in variable size distribution so that they could be suitable for business meetings as well as private events. The renewed Ballroom is a perfect venue for gala dinners, conferences or other events as its 510-sqm size and 600-person capacity meets any demands. Equipped with cutting-edge audiovisual systems such as BOSE audio, professional data transmission devices and high-resolution screens, the Ballroom also has new furniture, curtains and carpets that match the elegance of any high-key event. In addition to the Ballroom, the grand meeting room, which can be subdivided into three rooms (Endre, Béla, Levente), the separate conference room (Gizella) and four other Boardrooms have all been renewed, as well. With a total area of 104 sqms and a capacity for as many as 106 participants, the Endre-Béla-Levente meeting rooms are 35 sqms each. The enormous windows of the rooms offer a magnificent view on the Matthias Church. Ideal for meetings with ten participants, the renovated Boardrooms provide

user-friendly, touch-screen-controlled lighting, projector and audio technology along with window shading designed to fully shut out external lights. Owing to the high technology applied, guests can follow each moment of the Ballroom via the 60-inch smart HDTV sets installed in the rooms. With their views on the Parliament or the Dominican Yard, the elegant air-conditioned rooms couple comfort with technical solutions.

Parking in Buda Castle district Hilton Budapest is located in Budapest’s Castle District next to the iconic Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. The hotel can easily be reached by public transport (bus 16 or 16A) or by car via the two entry gates Bécsi kapu and Dísz tér. Car traffic is limited in the Castle District to preserve its historic heritage. The guests of Hilton Budapest are allowed to enter the Castle area, all they need to do is indicate at the gate of entry that they are Hilton guests and they have a parking place reserved in the hotel’s underground garage where parking spaces are subject to availability. They get a (parking) ticket and they need to get this ticket stamped at the Front Desk of the hotel before exiting the Castle area. The parking fees are determined by the local municipality and fees (by those not parking in the underground garage) have to be settled at one of the pay and display machines or at the barriers upon leaving the Castle District.

Diplomacy-n-Trade.ai 1 2017. 02. 27. 11:22:30

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wine

RESPONSIBLE WINERY MANAGEMENT THE MORE WE CARE FOR OUR EARTH, THE BETTER OUR WINE…

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with its own solar panels, has been built to fully utilise renewable energy sources. In addition, the complete water needs of the winery, hotel and restaurant are met with purified, controlled water from its own drilled well. Moreover, Bock Winery is the first in Hungary to use the smartflower photovoltaic technology, previously only used by the military. The system which works on a similar principle to a sunflower is 70% more efficient than solar energy sources used to date. And what now? The world’s experts agree that by 2020, the number of electric vehicles used for transport will reach 10-15% globally. In the same spirit, the Bock family is currently installing an electric car charging station in the winery’s carpark using technology whereby the charging station’s entire energy needs are fulfilled by the solar panels.

WINES OF THE TIMES… If it has not happened yet, it certainly should – the new darlings of the white wine world on all savvy wine lists should be Hungarian wines. Hungary has always been considered a ‘white wine country’, since more white varieties are grown than red. However, I am not talking about the Hungarian version of ubiquitous old world cultivars like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – but rather, wine names that don’t trip off the tongue quite so easily: varieties like Kéknyelű, Ezerjó Juhfrak, Furmint, Olaszrizling, Királyleányka and Hárslevelű or hybrids like the popular Csergszegi Fűszeres and Irsai Olivér or varieties that originally came from surrounding countries like Szürkebarát and Zöldveltelini. For the serious-minded wine aficionados of today, as well as for the casual sippers, there may be no more exciting region than Hungary – a repository of ancient wine-grape migration with a diversity of grape varietals that are amazing in their pure form, as well as when expertly blended. Hungary’s lesser-known white wines offer not only the thrill of discovery, but also the fact that, since there are so many diverse varietals and interesting blends, it is not difficult for sommeliers to match them with many of the re-invented Hungarian dishes, as well as with other cuisines available in the city. Olaszrizling is one of the mainstay white grape varieties and is grown in every region except Tokaj. It is often the grape of choice for many house wines due to its reliability, pleasant acids and bitter almond-scented character and its ability to mix with soda for great spritzers. Furmint, according to wine journalist Martin Bukovics, “is the Carpathian Basin’s answer to Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc – all in one grape.” It is the 8th most widespread variety in the country and is primarily grown in the Tokaj and Somló regions. The Juhfark grape is exclusively planted in Hungary, most prominently in the tiny wine region of Somló. The name in Hungarian literally means ‘sheep's tail’ and refers to the elongated, cylindrical shape of the clusters. Kéknyelű is a typical Hungarian variety found only in the Badacsony wine region of Hungary. Thanks to the growing

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demand for unique wines, wineries in that region are producing an increasing number of quality 100% varietal Kéknyelű wines. Hárslevelű or ‘Linden Leaf’, is an ancient variety grown mostly (but not exclusively) in the Tokaj region and its true value has always been as an ingredient in Aszú wines. Ezerjó, literally meaning ‘thousand good’, used to be one of the most common varieties in Hungary and well known throughout the Carpathian Basin. Nowadays, it is almost totally restricted to one small wine region, Mór, where vintners are decidedly proud of the grape and whose young winemakers continue to produce more and more remarkable wines from this lesser known varietal. For those who have not yet been bitten by the Hungarian wine bug, September is still a great month to try these white varietals and unique blends, before many of us start thinking about the darker side of life and switch over to reds. Thanks to the great diversity, there’s a bottle to suit everyone’s taste. Experiment and enjoy.

WINES TO TRY…

Kreinbacher Juhfark 2015 Floral and fruity aromas with some mineral and salty notes on the nose typical of Somló. Medium full body, fruity with fresh acidity. Long finish with citrus fruits, pear and tropical fruits. The salty character discovered on the nose returns at the end. Kúria White 2015 A 50-50 blend of Királyleányka and Szürkebarát. Vibrant, fruity nose with flowery notes. Pear and grapefruit on the palate and pleasant acidity, giving structure and freshness. Miklóscsabi Ezredes Ezerjó 2016 Pronounced yet elegant acids. This wine has plenty of ageing potential. Sauska Furmint 2015 A rich, dry indigenous Furmint from Tokaj. Fresh, cinnamon in the nose, along with considerable volcanic minerality, fresh fruitiness and impressive length. Sabar Olaszrizling 2015 Full of fruits on the nose with citrus tones, white flowers, almond and a touch of minerality. Concentrated, elegant wine full of flavors with lively acidity. Csendes Dűlő Kéknyelű 2014 Light, straw-colored wine with an aroma of fresh spices like anise and thyme. Well-rounded wine with dry, crispy acids and flavor of apple compote, citrus and almonds.

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visitor centers, in such a way that they can reduce their estates’ ecological footprint. There is already one such forward-thinking winery in Hungary, which is building a similarly complex environmentally-conscious system. “If we live from the treasures of nature, we should show our gratitude by doing as little damage as possible!” says Villány’s Bock family, who cultivate their vineyards using environmentallyfriendly solutions. “We don’t want to protect just our own vineyards, so we have also reduced our carbon emissions: we favor devices that consume less fossil energy and are reducing the number of hours our machines work. We have now reached the point where there is barely any more room for solar panels on our buildings and we have set the realistic goal of increasing our use of renewable energies to 100%”, recounts József

Bock, who, as a professional with technical qualifications, enjoys the most cutting edge technological solutions as much as winemaking. The cultivation of the estate’s 70 hectares of vineyards produces hardly any waste; any canes removed while pruning are converted into thermal energy in special furnaces, which meets the entire heating needs of the Hotel Ermitage and the Óbor Restaurant. The marc produced during the processing of the grapes is also recycled: a small part is turned into pálinka, while the seeds and skins are extracted from the rest, and grape seed products are prepared in their own facility. The remaining green waste is then shredded and returned to the vineyard where it eventually ends up back in the soil. The latest wing of Hotel Ermitage, equipped

photos by COURTESY

photo by DÁVID

HARANGOZÓ

Harvest time, when new wine will soon be making its way into our glasses, is just the time to ask what the benefits and efforts associated with responsible winery management in the 21st century are. In response to global environmental and societal challenges, the spirit of our age demands that sustainable solutions are increasingly emphasised in viticulture and winemaking. “The more we care for our Earth, the better our wine” – this is the slogan of the worldfamous Spanish Bodegas Torres estate, which has been committed to environmentally responsible winemaking for many years. The Catalan winery has developed every element of their activities, from the vine growing through to the management of their

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gastronomy KÁLI ART INN

FAMILY ENTERPRISE IN THE BALATON UPLANDS The hosts of the Káli Art Inn, Ildikó and Csaba Döbrentei, a dynamic couple with a passion for the Káli Basin, have devoted considerable time and money to create a sustainable, friendly place where guests can relax and hide away from the world year-round. Ildikó told Diplomacy&Trade that they opened in 2000 with eight rooms and one apartment house. Following that, six unique rooms were developed in the existing antique buildings and this year, they purchased the building that houses the restaurant, which has been operating since 2007. Their guests are primarily Hungarian, many of whom have become regulars over the years. Ildikó pointed out that they have some guests who stayed with them originally as a young couple in love, were married at the Inn and now return with their children to stay in one of the 2-bedroom suites. “It is great to see this continuity” said Ildikó proudly. (Csaba added that for those without children, there is a relaxation bio bath/lake, which is located in the "quiet zone" of the garden.) Ildikó stressed that “guests come for the peace, tranquility, relaxation, fine food – all of which they

find here with us. We take care of the body and soul. This is a place where time stands still and where bad moods stay outside the fence.” Csaba remarked that they are fastidious in their attention to every single detail from bathroom accessories and hand-made bed linens, to the selection of the menu items, wine list and the staff. “A guest once eloquently commented: ‘unobtrusive care, attainable luxury’, which we believe most succinctly describes us.” The Inn houses a beautiful new sauna building from which there is a splendid view of the bio bath/lake. “Summer or winter, this is perfect for rejuvenating”, commented Ildikó. “We have a masseur, sauna master and a physiotherapist on staff and an entire bicycle park at our guests’ disposal.” When asked about future plans, Csaba remarked that “we are preparing special programs for the autumn weekdays and will offer sauna séance packages, tours and culinary experiences. “We have no intention of increasing the number of rooms past the current 15, or the capacity of the restaurant, because we would like to maintain our high standards and provide this to our guests on a year-round basis.”

KÁLI ART INN 8274 KÖVESKÁL, FŐ UTCA 6 +36 30 922 8715 kali@kali-art.com www.kaliartinn.hu

THE STORY OF WATERMELON

photos by COURTESY

PICTURES, WATERMELON PROMOTION BOARD

STILL ENJOYING THIS FRUIT IN EARLY AUTUMN… There is still plenty of time to enjoy this versatile fruit throughout the month of September, as it is a readily available locally well into early October. Watermelon may not have always been destined for stardom, but people have loved them throughout the world for centuries. We know that the Ancient Egyptians discovered them growing wild in Africa and began cultivating them 5,000 years ago to see them through times of drought. From Egypt, their popularity grew as traders began selling seeds along Mediterranean trade routes. By the 10th century they had made their way to China and by the 13th, the Moors introduced them to Southern Europe as they swept in to conquer Spain. Modern varieties are derived from the native African vine citrullus lanatus. Mostly oval-shaped with stripy green rind, moist ruby pinkish flesh and glistening black seeds, the watermelon as a vegetable, belongs to the gourd family along with cousins squash, pumpkin and cucumber. But they are also considered a fruit. For best results, buy them whole with a symmetrical and shiny rind. If they produce a hollow sound when thumped, it signals ripeness. A recent development is the seedless watermelon, which most people find more convenient. Watermelons have very few calories since they are 92% water. Despite this, they have the highest concentration of the antioxidant lycopene, which may help against certain types of cancer. They are also a good source of Vitamins A, C, Beta-carotene and potassium, as well as containing several amino acids which help maintain blood flow and heart health. w w w . d t e u r o p e . c o m

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FUN FACTS

• Over 1,200 varieties are grown worldwide in 96 countries. • Every part is edible – you can eat the flesh, seeds and rind. • The largest one grown on record is 159 kg. • In Southern Russia, a popular wine is made from the juice. • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens. • Food Historians believe that Greek settlers brought the method of pickling watermelon to Charleston, South Carolina. • The word ‘Watermelon’ first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.

D I P L O M A C Y

WATERMELON AND FETA SALAD Cool, refreshing, low in calories and easy to throw together. INGREDIENTS (FOR 4 SERVINGS) 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, salt & freshly ground pepper, 10 C watermelon, seeded and cut into 4 cm chunks, 250 g feta, crumbled, 1¼ C pitted Kalamata olives, 1 small sweet onion, sliced, 1 C coarsely chopped mint NOTE: Can substitute diced cucumber for the olives for more refreshment INSTRUCTIONS In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, honey and S & P. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Garnish with mint and extra freshly ground pepper.

WATERMELON RIND STIR FRY Next time you buy a whole watermelon, reserve the watermelon rind for this ingenious recipe! The rind will soften and quickly absorb the flavor of your sauce. Add shrimp, tofu or chicken for an extra protein boost. INGREDIENTS (FOR 4 SERVINGS) 2 cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of a seedless watermelon), 1 cup julienned carrots, 1 inch piece of ginger, minced, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 cup chives, cut into 3 inch pieces, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn, 1/4 cup mint leaves, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, serving crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Add the watermelon rind and carrots and stir fry, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat for 1 additional minute without stirring. 2. Add the chives and stir to combine. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. 4. Pour the sauce over the watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. 5. Transfer to a serving dish. Add the basil, cilantro, and mint, tossing to combine. 6. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve as a side dish.

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