ADDIS ABABA (HAN) April 26, 2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Elias Genete, president of the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectorial Associations (left), Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary (centre) and Zoltan Kiss (PhD), chairman of the Sub-Saharan Committee and President of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (right), at Intercontinental Hotel in Addis Abeba last week. The occasion was the signing of an MoU aimed at creating joint venture engagements between Ethiopian and Hungarian business communities. The Foreign Minister, who accompanied a business delegation of 15, said he hoped bilateral political and economic relationships would be raised to a higher level.

In January, Hungary, a landlocked country in Central Europe, reopened its Embassy in Addis Abeba. The Embassy closed 26 years ago when diplomatic relations collapsed at the fall of the socialist Dergue. In 2014, Hungary’s gross domestic product per capita was 11,888 dollars, equivalent to 94pc of the world’s average. Ethiopia is 12 times bigger than Hungary and the latter’s population is 10 times smaller than the population of Ethiopia.

This time around, Hungary is putting its money where its mouth is. During the Ethio-Hungarian Business Forum held in Addis last week, the Foreign Minister announced his government’s creation of a 28 million dollar facilitation fund secured from the Hungary Export Import (EXIM) Bank, to hedge risks that may be involved in the joint venture businesses anticipated. Among the companies represented at the Forum were those specializing in agriculture, development of renewable energies, wood and waste water treatment. The Ethopian response was that specialization is vital in the partnerships that will be forged, according to Elias. He envisages members of the associations forming joint ventures and thereby benefitting from the fund.

Elias Genete, president of the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectorial Associations (left), Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary (centre) and Zoltan Kiss (PhD), chairman of the Sub-Saharan Committee and President of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (right).



 

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