Hungarian-Brazilian economic relations continue to gain momentum

The second session of the Hungarian-Brazilian Economic Partnership Joint Committee (EJC) was held in Budapest. At the event, Minister of State for Economic Regulation Kristóf Szatmáry received the Brazilian Co-Chairman of the EJC Hadil, Deputy Secretary of State Fontes da Rocha Vianna from Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affair.

Among the topics on the agenda, the meeting focussed on trade development, the stimulation of investments, innovation, education, cultural issues as well as on cooperation in the field of fisheries and water management.

The Brazilian delegation is scheduled to meet with 450 Brazilian students visiting Hungary within the framework of the “Science without Borders” scholarship programme this afternoon at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

Since the EJC was established in 2012, economic relations between Hungary and Brazil have developed dynamically. As a result, Brazil is currently Hungary’s most significant trade partner in South America. Thanks, among others, to domestic SMEs who have achieved an increasing presence on the Brazilian market, over the past years bilateral foreign trade data has been pointing to an upward trend; especially outstanding was the growth in Hungarian exports to Brazil: in 2012 the volume of Hungarian exports (USD 327.7 million) increased by more than 24 percent, while that of imports (USD 162.7 million) was up by 16 percent compared to the previous year. The positive trend also continued in the initial five months of 2013: Hungarian exports driven mainly by domestic SMEs gained 40 percent in comparison to the level registered one year ago. The effective endeavours of the EJS and steadily improving relations are expected to result in a Hungarian foreign trade volume of USD 1 billion by 2015.

The EJC held its Budapest session on 3 September, when the two parties signed several cooperation agreements. The Ministry for Rural Development and Brazil’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on aquaculture, and a Partnership Agreement designed to strengthen business relations was signed by Eximbank, the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency and the Brazilian-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The talks held at the meeting also outlined further fields of cooperation within the defence and agriculture sectors.

In the long term, opportunities provided by cooperation on education will be a key element of bilateral relations. These are off to a promising start as 450 Brazilian students begin their studies at Hungarian tertiary education facilities this year within the framework of Brazil’s scholarship programme called “Science without Borders”. This state-sponsored Brazilian programme helps young Brazilians to take courses in natural sciences, engineering, healthcare or informatics at a foreign university for one year. Hungary was the first Central European country to join the programme in 2012.

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