In his welcome speech, Ferenc Miklossy, first Vice- President of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, looked back at the joint past of the two countries. He recalled when Hungary in the 1950s and 1960s helped Algeria in her fight for independence and trained hundreds of Algerian businessmen and students in Hungary.

Turning to the present, Miklossy underpinned that the task of this First Business Forum and Conference is to find business opportunities for entrepreneurs of both countries. He emphasised that the opportunities are substantial.

Miklossy spoke about the past eight years, the time it took to bring about this Forum and the importance to discover areas where both partners find their interests. He noted that each year 100 Algerian students receive a Hungarian scholarship to study at Hungarian universities.

Setting up direct flights between Budapest and Algiers gave a great opportunity to improve relations between the two countries, Miklossy said.

Rhiad Amour, Chairman of the Algerian-Hungarian Business Council and first Vice-President of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, talked in his presentation to the bilateral Business Council about the need for cooperation in the economic and social fields.

Amour noted the great openings in different kinds of tourism in Hungary and Algeria. He remarked on the importance for holiday-makers to find a secure country at this time of increased amount of terrorist attacks, and he asserted that Algeria is such a country.

Also, regarding bilateral economic relations between Hungary and Algeria, András Kovacs, Head of the MENA Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, talked about the task of this Forum. He said it opens a gate for Hungarians to reach out to Africa and for Algerians to find markets for their goods in the EU through Hungary.

Kovacs also talked about the scholarships Hungary is giving to Algerian students and pointed out that for the 100 places for next year Hungary has already received 650 applications. He said themed business meetings should also be organised.

In his welcome speech, Algerian Ambassador to Hungary Abdelkader Dehendi pointed out that participants in the Forum should talk not only about the glorious past of the 1950s but about ways to move forward.

Ambassador Dehendi said Algeria is open for discussions and for business in all sectors. He spoke about the many thousands of Hungarians who worked and are employed in Algeria in the realisation of several economic, cultural, sporting and touristic projects.

Already in 2018 two Hungarian groups had visited Algeria, he said. One was a group of eight painters and sculptors and the second was of some 30 singers and dancers. Dehendi said further visits are necessary by both sides to each others’ countries to get to know the openings better.


For example, football was very popular in Algeria and the National Stadium had been built to the design of a Hungarian architect. And Hungary had been increasing its efforts to improve the bilateral relations since 2010 to lessen its dependency on West European markets. Despite the rich offerings, the ambassador said, Algeria is only the seventh economic partner of Hungary among the Arab states and the bilateral relations reach only 4 % of Hungary’s commercial exchanges.

Hungarian Ambassador to Algeria Helga Pritz said that to strengthen bilateral relations Hungary had set up an Investment Agency. She said the Algerian students in Hungary can be the next generation of businessmen or decision-makers in Algeria.

Pritz asserted that in Hungary only those are unemployed who do not want to get a job. She detailed the Hungarian tax system to the Arab businessmen and listed some of the business-investment opportunities in the two countries, mentioning the food industry, technological developments in the instrument, pharmaceutical and building industries, and car manufacturing.

She cited such international companies present in Hungarian industry as Mercedes, Audi and Bosch. Pritz said Hungarian research has a high standard. The country is rich in medicinal waters such as Szentkirályi, so she suggested to organise a water summit.

Before participants of the Forum began direct negotiations on possible co-operations, Dehendi highlighted Algerian business openings. “With its highly developed network linking all the neighbouring countries, its railways, its big ports and airports, it has easy access to the different countries of the region,” he said.

“Algeria is the driving force for the development of Africa and its first portal for all economic operators who really want to develop business cooperation in this continent. Algeria is the gateway to Africa.”

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