For the first time in the CEE region Hungary has hosted the World Export Development Forum (WEDF). One of the world’s leading trade conference has been held with the participation of over 600 political and economic decision makers from 60 countries. The aim of the event was to emphasise the agro-food sector and related technologies’ importance on the global markets. The conference was opened by János Áder, President of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and Arancha González, Director of International Trade Centre. At the opening ceremony the Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH) has been represented by Gábor Kun, vice president.
In cooperation with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the International Trade Centre – the joint trade development organisation of UN and WTO –has organised, on the 24-26 October 2017, the 18th World Export Development Forum for the first time in the CEE region in Budapest, Hungary. During the 3 days event 60 countries’ ministers, heads of states, international company leaders and trade experts have debated on the challenges of trade development on the global markets, meanwhile the panel discussion and plenary sessions were focused on the SME segment’s future role in the national economics. One of the roundtable discussions was around the regional companies’ potential entry to the global market and the possible synergies with the One Road One Belt program of the Chinese government. General Director of the Hungarian National Trading House Erzsébet Nagy gave on overview of Hungary as potential target market and shared the market entry experience of the Hungarian companies in the region (Carpathian Basin) and further. She has also presented the tools and services provided by MNKH in order to support the international growth of the enterprises. The conference were accompanied by B2B meetings and thematic exhibition. Thanks to the MNKH services many Hungarian companies had a chance to showcase its technical solutions mainly in the field of agro-food and environmental and water management industries.
SMEs in the focus
At the opening ceremony, following the welcome speech of János Áder, President of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and Arancha González, Director of International Trade Centre have emphasised the SME sector’s potentials and its importance in the global economy. Péter Szíjjártó has highlighted the aim of the Hungarian government to radically increase the proportion of the SMEs’ share in the national export volume: “To do so the Government supports the competitiveness development in the sector and enhance their chance to become official suppliers of multinational enterprises.” – added the Minister.
Arancha González, director of the International Trade Centre has pointed that the SMEs strength and competitiveness is the key to the growth of national economics. He has also mentioned that to achieve changes it is needed to break down the administrative barriers, develop the logistics and enable capital expenditure.
Outstanding occasion for networking
The MNKH has taken a great part out of the preparation especially through the reception of delegations from Mexico, Ghana, Albania and Sri Lanka. It has also been responsible for the organisation of the bilateral business meetings. “Hosting the WEDF in Budapest is a great example of Hungary’s dedication to support the internationalisation of the SME sector. Given that 99% of the Hungarian companies are SMEs it is crucial to ensure the participation of competitive players at international forums. Thanks to its wide service offering MNKH has an important role in this field.” - said Gábor Kun vice president of MNKH. The event is considered as a success for both MNKH and its partners, as over 300 business meetings took place in the 3 days.