India’s relations with Hungary have been close and friendly, multifaceted and substantive. They have survived the vicissitudes of political and economic changes particularly in Hungary and reorientation of foreign policy in the post-cold war period. Both countries commemorated the 50th year of establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998. The visit of PM Gyurcsany to India in January 2008 took place during the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. Decades of Indo-Hungarian economic interaction further sustained the relationship as India became Hungary’s biggest Asian trading partner and Hungary had 25 joint ventures in India in the 1980s. Intense and fruitful scientific and technological interactions created further value. All of this added up to tremendous political goodwill.Hungarian political leaders have often underlined the name recognition of India, her prestige and stature and a natural affinity towards the country and its people on the part of the Hungarian constituencies. Sometimes, there is spontaneous outpouring of pro-Indian sentiments on the part of Hungarians which nudges the Government to take action.India is also seen as a country whose ancient culture and spiritual traditions and the academic and scientific excellence specially in the “knowledge sector” is deeply attractive to ordinary Hungarians. As the fourth largest economy and among the fastest growing markets and an emerging IT power, India is an important partner for Hungary in Asia.
Hungarian PM’s Visit to India
The Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany visited India from 16-19 January 2008 covering Delhi, Agra and Bangalore. PM Gyurcsany called on President of India, and met with EAM, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Chairperson of UPA and Leader of Opposition. Agriculture Minister Josef Graz also accompanied the delegation and met his counterparts in India. Seven Agreements/MoUs were signed between the two countries. These include Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine; Agreement for Cooperation in Agriculture, Plant Quarantine and Protection and Animal Husbandry; Letter of Intent on the Establishment of an India-Hungary Strategic Research Fund; Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between ONGC and MOL. PM Gyurcsány also addressed the business forums of FICCI and CII, where Hungary was a special guest. The delegation visited Infosys and BioCon in Bangalore.
The most recent visit to India was made by Prime Minister Viktor Orban (October 2013) who called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hon’ble Dr. Hamid Ansari, met with Chairperson of UPA Smt. Sonia Gandhi. PM Orban thereafter proceeded to Rashtrapati Bhavan for a customary call on Rashtrapatiji. PM Orban also visited ICWA, Sapru House and gave a lecture on Hungary and Europe today. Subsequently PM Orban took part in a Indo-Hungarian business Forum, jointly organized by FICCI and CII. Four Memorandums of Understanding and 2 Letters of Intent were signed in the following areas: (1) MOU on Traditional Systems of Medicine, (2) MOU on Cooperation in the field of Sports, (3) MOU on Cooperation in the areas of Defensive Aspects of Microbiological and Radiological Detection and Protection, (4) Cultural Exchange Programme for 2013-2015, (5) Letter of Intent on Revision of Air Services Agreement, (6) Letter of Intent for Indo-Hungarian Strategic Research Fund (enhanced contribution of Euro 2 million each for 2014-17.
Important Bilateral Treaties and Agreements
In addition to the above listed agreements, a number of other agreements provide the overall institutional framework for economic cooperation with Hungary:
- Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAC) (signed in November, 2003)
- Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPA) (Nov, 2003)
- MoU on IT Cooperation (Nov.2003)
- Agreement on Defence Cooperation (Nov.2003)
- Economic Cooperation Agreement (June 2005)
- Cultural Exchange Programme (Oct 2006).
- Agreement on the cooperation in the field of Agriculture (Jan 2008)
- Agreement in the field of Science and Technology (Jan 2008)
- Health Cooperation Agreement (Jan 2008)
- Agreement between ONGC and MOL for joint exploration (January 2008)
- Establishment of a Strategic Fund of Euro 2 million (Jan 2008)
- MoU on Social Security Agreement (Feb 2010)
- MoU between ITDH and FICCI on Trade and Investment Cooperation (Feb 2010)
- Agreement on Arbitration between FICCI and HCCI (Feb 2010)
- MoU on cooperation between HITA and FICCI in (Oct 2013)
- MoU on Traditional Systems of Medicine Ministry of Health India, Ministry of Human Resources Hungary (Oct 2013)
- Educational Exchange Programme signed (Nov 2014)
- MOU on Cooperation in the field of Water Management (Oct 2016)
- MOU on Cooperation between Indian Council of World Affairs and Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Oct 2016)
Over the years, several high-level visits have taken place:
|India to Hungary
|President Zakir Hussain
|President V. V. Giri
|PM Indira Gandhi
|President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
|PM Rajiv Gandhi
|Speaker Rabi Ray
|Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Health and Family Welfare
|Mr Natwar Singh, External Affairs Minister
|Smt Ambika Soni Minister of Tourism & Culture
|Mrs. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
|Shri Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry
|Smt. Meira Kumar, Speaker of Lok Sabha
|Smt. Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs
|Shri Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs
|Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Science and Technology
|Shri Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and IT Technology
|Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs
|Shri Hamid Ansari, Vice-President
|Hungary to India
|PM Ferenc Munnich
|PM Gyula Kallai
|President Pál Losonczi
||1969 & 1976
|PM Jeno Fock
|Speaker Istvan Sarlos
|President Dr. Arpad Goncz
|Speaker Zoltan Gal
|Speaker Janos Ader
|PM Peter Medgyessy
|Dr. Kinga Goncz, Foreign Minister
|Dr. Janos Veres, Finance Minister
|Mr. Istvan Hiller, Minister of Cultural Heritage
|PM Ferenc Gyurcsány
|Dr. Ildikó Kovács, National Office for Research and Technology
|Mr. Peter Balazs, Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Mr. László Parragh, President of Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
|Dr. Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Speaker of Parliament
|Dr. János Latorcay, Deputy Speaker of Parliament
|Mr. László Kövér, Speaker of Parliament
|Mr. Péter Szijjartó, State Secretary for External Economic Relations
|Mr. Viktor Orban, Prime Minister
|Mr. János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Commercial and Economic Relations
Economic co-operation between India and Hungary has a long history. Co-operation in this field was institutionalized in 1949 with the signing of a Rupee Trade Agreement which operated through the negotiation of annual protocols which fixed the products to be traded and the amounts thereof, with the trade being canalized through government agencies. The major items of export from India before 1990 were tea, tobacco, pepper and other spices, de-oiled cakes, finished leather and shoe uppers, iron ore and pellets, cotton and jute goods, engineering goods, Maruti vehicles, chemicals and chemical products. Imports from Hungary included steel and steel products, chemicals, machine tools, pulses, peas, newsprint and engineering goods, especially for railways and power projects. Over 25 collaborations had also been established in India by Hungarian companies. Indeed trade has far surpassed the levels of the 1980’s and now stands at around USD 700 million.
India’s trade with Hungary is around USD 600 mln.
Bilateral Trade (in USD Million)
|| Indian Exports
|| Indian imports
|| Total Trade
Source: Central Statistical Office www.ksh.hu
Major Hungarian Exports to India: Machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment, vegetable products, products of the chemical or allied industries, base metals, materials and products of paper industry, optical, medical instruments etc.
Major Indian Exports to Hungary: Machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment, products of the chemical or allied industries, Vehicles and associated transport equipment, footwear, headgear and accessories of fashion, textiles and textile articles, prepared foodstuffs; beverages; tobacco products.
Trade Composition: Recent trends indicate a shift in the composition of Indian exports away from traditional goods such as cotton yarn and textiles, towards organic chemicals, machinery, automotive components and pharmaceuticals. Imports from Hungary comprise items such as wheat, electrical machinery and equipment and light engineering goods.
Key Focus Areas
List of Indian investments in Hungary:
|Ganz Transelektro /CG Electric
||Acquired by Crompton Greaves group, through their Belgian subsidiary Pauwels Ltd. in July 2006
|ICN Valeant Hungary / Alkalioda
||Acquired by Sun Pharmaceuticals in 2005. Is active in narcotic and alkaloid substances in the medicinal field. Employs about 300 personnel.
|SMR Automotive Mirror Tech.
||Established in 1995, belonged to the Visocorp company. Acquired by the SMR group (Samvardhana Motherson Reflectec) in 2009, the Hungarian unit was renamed to SMR Automotive Mirror Technology Hungary. Employs 1350.
|Tata Consultancy Services TCS Hungary
||A Tata group company, established office in 2001. Upgraded the unit to Global Development Centre. Employs about 900 personnel. Opened an IT Centre of Excellence at Szent Istvan University, Godollo. Recently 2012 expanded facility to accomodate extra 300+ workers.
|Orion Electronics Ltd.
||Producer of electronics appliances. Part of the Thakral Group based in Singapore, with Indian ownership (Indirect Indian investment in Hungary)
||Established in 2010 for the developing and manufacturing of electronics. In 2012 the Hungarian company entered into strategic partnership with Intech India Pvt. Ltd and Kanha Technologies. Employs 50 workers.
||Established in 2002 Sept 14 with a US$ 70mln investment as it started Business Process Outsourcing in the European market. Employs about 600 personnel.
||Wipro Ltd is an Indian IT giant. Collaborating with Ericsson and recently established an office in Infopark. It employes about 70 persons.
||Opened office in 2008, employs 260+.
|Satyam Computer Services Limited
||Opened in 2004. Employs about 60 personnel. Have plans to start a BPO centre, named Nipuna. Satyam has been severely affected by the financial crisis in 2010. Since then it has minimized operations in Hungary and in 2013 became Tech Mahindra Ltd.
|Wipers, Veszprem / PMP Autocomponents
||Acquired by Nicholas Piramal group company in Jun 2006, employs about 100 personnel. In 2010 Indian mother company purchased the reknowned Czech PAL and shifted production to the Czech republic.
||Acquired by Global Green, a Crompton Greaves group company, in 2006.
|WSEL Marketing Kft
||Misc: Textile, Yarn, Scaffolding, Steel
||Indian-based company started the operations in Hungary, main business is in to trading Cotton & Synthetic Blended Cotton & Synthetic Blended Yarns, Textiles, Scaffolding and Galvanized Steel tubes. In 2013 the operations of the Hungarian company was renamed as ‘WSEL Marketing Kft’ after it was purchased by Hong Kong-based company run and managed by Indians.
|Eroterv- Waagner-Biro Kornyezetvedelmi Kft.
||90% share held by Indian company McNally Bharat in 2000. Has 10 employees; company designs devices for industrial fly-ash removal.
||Corus Distribution Europe – founded a new Distribution Office in Györ, Hungary, servicing a customer base with slitted rings, cut-to-length sheets and rewinded steel coils for many different industries in the Central and Eastern European region. Tata Steel is Europe’s 2nd and the wolds 10th largest steel producer. Operations ended in 2013 in Hungary.
||Franchise network with 35 shops in Hungary, and neighboring countries.
|Eculine Hungary Kft
||Logistics, HQ is in Mumbai, part of the Avashya Group. Opened office in April 2010, employs 4.
Hungarian Embassy in India
| New Delhi
||2/50-M, Niti Marg,Chanakyapuri New Delhi – 110021
|Country and local codes:
|Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary:
||Mr. Gyula Pethő -Ambassador
||India, Nepal, Banglades, Maldives, Sri Lanka
There is a small resident Indian community in Hungary, mostly professionals in IT industry and business, including a transient community of about 80 students who are studying in various universities of Budapest, Pecs, Szeged etc. From time to time, there is an exchange of research scholars and scientists for a period ranging from three weeks to six months under our exchange programmes. In addition there are a few Indians who are married to local Hungarians and permanently settled in Hungary. In recent years, the number of Indians in Hungary is estimated to be 300-350.