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Lóránt Kibédi Varga

Member-to-Member Approach

Sándor Laczkó
September 17, 2019

Established 17 years ago, the Netherlands-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce in Budapest (Dutcham) aims to facilitate the exchange of professional expertise and provide networking possibilities for Dutch companies operating in Hungary and for Hungarian f irms planning to enter the Dutch market.

Dutcham’s key mission of providing a platform for Dutch and Hungarian companies to build a valuable network that enables them to grow and prosper remains unchanged amid the constantly evolving business environment, Chairman Lóránt Kibédi Varga says. “My goal as chairman is to create value for our members via our activities and services and strengthen the ties among these companies. The board members of the chamber have various backgrounds, which creates an inspiring and passionate environment. This adds the additional drive and energy to bring the Dutcham experience to a new level,” Kibédi Varga, who has been at the helm of the organization for four years, notes.

A vibrant business community

Over the past years, Dutcham has evolved into one of the most vibrant business communities in Budapest, the chairman highlights. “Our activities aim to facilitate the exchange of professional expertise and provide networking possibilities for Dutch companies operating in Hungary and for Hungarian companies wishing to do business in the Netherlands. I am confident that our ‘memberto-member’ approach is working well. Member companies appreciate our efforts to think beyond traditional networking and knowledge-sharing practices when it comes to professional thematic seminars in the area of legal issues, finance, tax, HR/leadership, real estate and logistics.”

Finding open doors for business

Another aspect of the services provided by Dutcham is to help Hungarian companies that seek to establish a presence in the Netherlands and vice versa. Demand by such ventures for Dutcham’s assistance is unabated and the business areas where they come from covers a wide spectrum. The chairman points out that “this year, we have received around 40 business inquiries from the Netherlands, from the most varied areas. Companies look for subcontractors, business partners in specific areas, individuals ask for our support in finding a job in Hungary or setting up a company. There are also more and more agile Hungarian entrepreneurs and businessmen who have established a successful presence in the Netherlands, even in sectors like agritech. It seems that the doors are open for Hungarian companies if they are ready to walk the extra mile and attend trade fairs, expos and other business events to personally meet potential Dutch business partners.”

Keeping up the good spirit

There is a lot of competition between different bilateral chambers in Budapest, which raises the question why a company should opt for membership in Dutcham. “Although the relatively small Hungarian market leads to a healthy competition among the chambers for new members, we regularly join forces to organize bigger events for the joint memberships that create an inspiring atmosphere” the chairman says. He adds that Dutcham is one of the most active chambers of commerce in Budapest with 25-30 events on average a year. “The Netherlands is one of the top five investors in Hungary and Dutcham should represent the companies that contribute to this. As one of our board members put it: ‘Dutcham means for us sharing and caring and a lot of fun’. We do our best to live up to this and keep up the good spirit.”

Sándor Laczkó

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