The Hungarian-Algerian Business Council was established in 2018, based on an agreement between the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce of Industry (MKIK) and the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The objective of the Council is to increase the bilateral trade volume while developing economic relations between Hungary and Algeria and to provide business opportunities to its member companies by organizing business forums and trade missions.
The Council’s first session was held in Budapest 2018 in the framework of the Hungarian-Algerian Business Forum organized on the occasion of the visit of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s delegation. The event also hosted bilateral business meetings, where the ca. 150 participants had a chance to establish direct business relations. As the majority of export-oriented Hungarian companies are innovation-based, they also have higher prospects entering the Algerian market. The Council seeks to assist these companies by identifying business partners and mediating corporate interest. Potential areas of cooperation are water management, power generation, gas and oil industry, agricultural and food processing technologies, digital and healthcare technologies as well as pharmaceuticals.
As Dr. Endre Ascsillán, the Hungarian co-chair of the Council notes, “we experience varied performance in different fields during the pandemic, but, for example, agriculture was able to grow by 2.3% and construction by 0.8%, we believe these sectors could be in the Council’s focus for the future.” As Vice President at GE in Hungary, he adds that the company has been present in Algeria for more than 40 years fostering partnerships, including major long-term investments. Citing some recent examples, he says that based on a strong, long term partnership with Sonelgaz, GEAT (General Electric Algeria Turbines), Africa’s first of its kind manufacturing, assembly, digital, service&repair has just been inaugurated (in October 2020). GEAT is part of a USD 168 million investment and has already started manufacturing components and beside GE’s operation, maintenance and technology support, the local staff at GEAT has received over 30,000 hours of training by GE experts, both in local institutes and at GE’s facilities such as the GE Gas Power in Hungary. Another great example is GE Healthcare’s investment activity in Algeria.
To speed up after-sales services in the region, in addition to a USD 3 million spare parts warehouse, a GE healthcare medical equipment repair center has been opened, helping to reduce repair times by up to 50% for GEHC equipment. Today, GE works in Algeria alongside public and private sector customers in the fields of aviation, energy and healthcare, serving Air Algérie, generating nearly 70% of the electricity distributed across the country and having a hub for GE Healthcare in North West Africa. Additionally, based on the GE Healthcare Software Development Center activities in Budapest, the Hungarian digital hub can play a significant role in connecting Algerian R&D activities and researchers directly to the European Innovation ecosystem by opening healthcare innovation programs (Health Venture Lab accelerator, the Catalyst program – managed by MIT LinQ or the HelloAI Summer School) organized in collaboration with European partners in the next chapter of cooperation.
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