Closer economic and trade relations with South Africa

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The founding session of the Hungarian-South African Economic Joint Committee was held in Pretoria, South Africa on Monday. The Hungarian co-chairman of the committee is Secretary of State Kristóf Szatmáry, the South African counterpart is Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe.

The committee is part of the plan outlined in the Hungarian government’s external economic strategy; the primary goal is to help Hungarian enterprises gain ground in international markets and to stimulate the export performance of the Hungarian economy. The founding of the Committee provides large-scale investment opportunities between the two countries particularly in the field of water management.

The South African Minister of State for Tourism is evaluating the possibility of opening a South African tourism office in Budapest. The two sides also discussed ways of cooperating in the fields of post-secondary education, vocational training, mining, science and technology, and agriculture.

During his visit in South Africa, Szatmáry met with representatives of the local Hungarian communities, and attended a citizenship oath ceremony at the Hungarian Embassy in Pretoria. South Africans with Hungarian roots are keen to learn more about the simplified naturalization act introduced by the Hungarian government in 2011.

South Africa, Hungary’s largest trading partner on the African continent. Hungarian exports to South Africa exceeded USD 776 million in 2012 and South African investments in Hungary totaled USD 200 million in the same period.

During the secretary of state's visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was concluded between the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

( – edited by


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