Syrian- Hungarian Businessmen Council founded
Syria-Hungary, Economics, 2/13/2002
An agreement on founding of the Syrian Hungarian Businessmen council was signed on February 5, 2002 by the Hungarian ambassador in Damascus Balazs Bokor and the chairman of the federation of the Syrian Chambers of Commerce Dr. Rateb al-Shallah.
The agreement is aimed at further strengthening the close ties between the Syrian Arab republic and the Republic of Hungary and consolidating the economic and investment cooperation between the two countries, especially encouraging businessmen and chambers of commerce and industry in both countries to produce a cooperation structure aiming at the expansion of economic and commercial relations and the setting up of joint investment projects.
The federation of the Syrian chambers of commerce and the Hungarian investment and Trade Development Agency agreed to establish the Syrian- Hungarian Businessmen council in accordance with the following objectives: To acquaint businessmen and visitors in both countries with the economic and production capabilities and business opportunities available in the other country; To enhance and develop the relations and ties between the two business communities in both countries and furnish the best prospects for economic cooperation; To encourage the establishment of productive joint ventures and companies in several investment fields available in both countries, introduce the best financing means, laws and regulations of investment and to supply the interested businessmen with the required information, facilities and services; To give support and encourage the experts, exchange of goods and services by means of continued contacts besides; exchange of information, holding fairs and taking part in the international fairs held in both countries and organizing the information visits and symposiums.; To have interest in training programs and transfer of technology and know how which may assist to improve the local production needed to meet the requirements of both countries; Preparing studies and surveys related to development of co-operation among the businessmen in both countries in the field of production and commerce; and To foster the various activities and scopes which may serve enhancing the economic co-operation between the two countries and.
However, the first meeting of the businessmen council will take place in Damascus in the near future.
Marking this important economic event, the Hungarian ambassador in Damascus Mr. Bokor said in a statement to Arabic News that there is a long history of close and friendly cooperation between Syria and Hungary and between the two peoples. Cooperation which embraced all possible fields of activity. He said that both sides expressed continuously own appreciation towards the other and this attitude has been duely reflected in political, economical, cultural and a lot of other links.
He said that relying on the so many positive effects of the past, we are looking forward to develop even more our network of bilateral relations. There is a firm political will for gaining this noble aim. This will has been expressed by President Bashar al-Assad, while " presenting my credentials to him in 2000."
The ambassador added that:" On his behalf his excellency Mr. Ferenc Madl, President of the Republic of Hungary in his letter addressed to President al-Assad on November 9, 2001, has stated that our country intends to further develop its relations with Syria and explore new areas of mutual interest. He also stated that Hungary considers Syria as a prominent actor in both regional and world politics, recognizes its status as one of the focal points of the Arab world and appreciates its commitment to stability and peace.
The ambassador indicated that being guided by the highest political will, " we should be able to make more and more efforts in order to transfer this will to reality. There was a favorable picture about Hungary in Syria in the past. However, in the last 10 years tremendous political, economic, social etc changes have been taken place in Hungary. " I am convinced that these changes are not necessarily reflected in the actual Syrian mind. The Republic of Hungary in 2002 is not the same country, as it was the People's Republic of Hungary in 1989.
He said today, the republic of Hungary is a highly developed multiparty democracy, with an internationally appreciated market economy and a totally harmonized legal system which is 100% adequate to that of in any Western European country. He continued that Hungary is one of the eve of joining the European Union and according to the EU values it stands in the avangarde of the associated countries. Hungary is a country with a 5.5% economic growth which is 1.7 fold higher than the average growth in the member states of the EU, 1.3 fold greater than OECF average growth. The GDP increased by 6.5% in the last year. The volume of the foreign direct investment to the Hungarian economy reaches 30 billion USD in the last decade. " There is a constantly expanding export which arrived to 28 billion USD last year with a 75% share of it towards the countries of the EU. Hungary with its population of 11 million had 31 million tourists last year. Today, the competitive Hungarian companies and products gained not by chance their good reputation all over the world.
Ambassador Bokor concluded as saying that the establishment of the Syrian Ð Hungarian Businessmen Council is a really important step. It takes into consideration the excellent political background of the Syrian- Hungarian bilateral relations and offers a good and effective mechanism of business promotion into both directions.
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