Hungary – creating trust is imperative

Hungary – creating trust is imperative

Hungary is a landlocked country in central Europe. The official language is Hungarian which is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe and, according to a survey by the British Foreign Office, the most difficult language to be learnt and spoken.

Hungary’s economy is a mediium sized, open economy, part of the EU’s single market. The private sector accounts for more than 80% of the Hungarian GDP and foreign ownership and investment in Hungrian firms is widespread. The main industries are mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles. Hungary’s main agricultural products are wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, potatoes, sugar beets, pigs, cattle, poultry, and dairy products.

The world’s largest geothermal cave system is located underground in Budapest, the capital city. The country is known for its many hot water spa baths which date back to Roman times.

Prior to doing business in Hungary you will need the help of a local representative who can help approach businesses, make appointments, act as an interpreter and be a decent source of cross-cultural knowledge.

Once you have built some contacts you need to invest time in strengthening relationships. Although Hungary is not as relationship-driven as, say, the Middle East, a certain amount of trust needs to be in place before serious business can take place. A relationship is built over a lot of food, drink and entertainment. Meals are the time to get to know your future partners. Try and avoid talking business at meals. Good topics of conversation are horses, food and wine.

A lasting effect of the Communist era has been that negotiations can still be cumbersome affairs. The combination of slow decision making, an aversion to risk and plenty of red tape means you need patience. However, if the chemistry is right this can be reduced.

Share your Hungarian business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia, Kwintessential,

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