Hundreds of business meetings between Hungarian companies present
In his opening remarks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economy’s State Secretary for Economic Diplomacy stressed that much has been done by many since the fall of communism in order to strengthen Hungarian communities living in the Carpathian Basin on an economic level, but none has done as much as the Hungarian government in the past year.
Development projects have been implemented on an unparalleled scale with some 150 billion forints provided by the government, from the Southernmost tip of Voivodina to the Carpathian Passes, and from Târgu Secuiesc to Bratislava, Levente Magyar added.
The state secretary considered it an essential prerequisite for retaining Hungarian identity that “minority existence must have a material basis for existence (...) and that we must overcome the serious challenges of emigration afflicting Hungarian communities in neighbouring countries”. Levente Magyar deemed that 2017 will be a breakthrough year for national policy, with important funds being distributed for strengthening Hungarian entrepreneurs through the networks of the Hungarian National Trading House and various local foundations.
He added that at last the farmers, families and entrepreneurs who have been neglected for decades, those who had fewer chances for success as members of the majority community, can finally move forward. It is the minority that is now getting into a better position, something unheard of for a century, he noted.
As an example, Mr Magyar referred to Subotica in Voivodina, where four thousand Hungarian entrepreneurs will sign a contract for services in a few days, allowing four thousand local Hungarian families to improve on their subsistence by modernising their farm, purchasing land, machinery and tools.
This year will see a further two dozen major investment projects launched in Voivodina: New factories and plants to be built from a 30 billion forint subsidy, that “will get the Hungarian economy of Voivodina moving like never before”, and that will soon ensure a tangible improvement in the standard of living, Levente Magyar said, adding that the same programme was well under way in Transcarpathia, while it was due to be launched in the autumn in Southern Slovakia and Transylvania.
Zsigmond Perenyi, Deputy Minister of State for international affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office told participants about EU funding and Interreg tenders, while Antal Nikoletti, Deputy Minister of State for economic relations and sustainable economic development at the Ministry of National Economy presented details of other available funding and financial access.
Zsanett Olah, Chief Executive of the Hungarian National Trading House said that her organisation is trying to reach and help local entrepreneurs by 22 representations in neighbouring countries, their remote bridgeheads.
200 Hungarian entrepreneurs and almost the same number of exhibitors arrived for the conference and exhibition in Hajdúszoboszló from neighbouring countries. Representatives of Hungarian organisations in neighbouring countries were also in attendance: Hunor Kelemen, president of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), István Pásztor, chairman of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ), József Menyhárt, president of the Party of Hungarian Community (MKP), László Brenzovics, president of the Hungarian Cultural Federation of Transcarpathia (KMKSZ), Ferenc Horváth, president of the Hungarian Self-Governments National Union of Prekmurje, and Sándor Jakab, president of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Croatia.
Photo credits: Marton Kovacs, KKM