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Hungary

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Hungary country brief

Key engagement

Diplomatic ties between Hungary and Australia were established in 1972.

Australia and Hungary have had several high-level visits in recent years, including at Head of State, Foreign Minister and Trade Minister level.

Outlook

Total goods and services trade between Australia and Hungary has been growing at 6.8 per cent per annum over the past five years.

The Fidesz-KDNP government first came to power in 2010 and is currently into its third consecutive term.  Elections for the National Assembly are next scheduled to be held in 2022.

Bilateral relations

Hungary and Australia enjoy friendly, cooperative relations with strong people-to-people links as a result of the large number of Hungarians who emigrated to Australia in the twentieth century, especially following the 1956 Uprising against the Soviet occupation of Hungary.

High-level visits between Australia and Hungary have served to develop bilateral relations.

Foreign policy

Hungary is a member of the United Nations (1955), one of the founding members of the World Trade Organization (1995), the International Monetary Fund (1982), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (1973), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (1996), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (1999) and the European Union (2004). Hungary is a member of the EU's visa-free zone – the Schengen Area (2007), but is not a member of the Eurozone. Hungary is a member of the Visegrád Four, with Poland, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. The grouping aims to promote closer cooperation between these four central European countries to further their European integration.

Fast facts

Hungarian visitors to Australia (year ended June 2020)
5,200
Australian resident returns from Hungary (year ended June 2020)
7,900
Resident Australian population born in Hungary (2016 census)
17,897
Australian residents of Hungarian descent (2016 census)
73,614
Hungarian working holidaymakers (2019-20)
137
Hungarian student enrolments in Australia (2019)
422

High level engagement

2018

Then Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, travelled to Hungary and met Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, in February 2018.

Then Trade Minister The Hon Steven Ciobo travelled to Hungary in January 2018 to meet with Hungarian counterparts and business leaders.

Agreements with Hungary

Bilateral agreements between Australia and Hungary include, a treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition (1997), an agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and the Transfer of Nuclear Material (2002), a bilateral Social Security Agreement (2011), an Air Services Agreement (2016) and a treaty on Oil Stock Contracts (2018).

Texts of bilateral agreements are available at the Australian Treaties Database.

Public diplomacy

The Australian Embassy in Vienna has hosted a number of community events and has participated in several commemorative events in Hungary.

The Hungarian community actively promotes Hungarian culture in Australia through Hungarian cultural centres, clubs, associations and festivals. The Australian Hungarian Cultural Festival is held every three years in different cities/states around Australia. The Association of Australian and Békés Citizens (a Australian-Hungarian friendship group) hosts an annual charity ball event

Hungarians celebrate their national or State day on 20 August each year, known as the Day of the Foundation of the State of Hungary and St Stephen's Day (after Hungary's first king). Hungary also celebrates national days on 23 October (commemorating the outbreak of the 1956 Uprising and the proclamation of the Hungarian Republic in 1989) and 15 March (commemorating the 1848-49 Revolution and War of Independence).

Hungary has an Embassy in Canberra and Consulates in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

Australian Embassy in Vienna

The Australian Embassy in Vienna is accredited to Hungary.

The Canadian Embassy in Budapest provides consular assistance to Australians in Hungary.

Twitter @AusAmbVIE

Economic diplomacy

Total two-way merchandise trade in 2019 was valued at $818 million, with imports from Hungary totalling $756 million. Hungarian exports to Australia were predominantly passenger motor vehicles; office machines; electrical circuits equipment; and trailers, semi-trailers and containers. Australia’s major exports were telecom equipment & parts; and medicaments.

Total trade in services in 2019 was $75 million, with the balance of trade slightly in Australia’s favour. Australian total investment in Hungary in 2019 was $599 million compared to Hungarian investment in Australia of $42 million.

More economic and trade information can be found in the Hungary economy fact sheet [PDF]

Australia continues to seek opportunities to promote Australian business and raise awareness of the potential benefits of increased trade between Australia and Europe, including Hungary. This work has intensified followed the launch of Australia-EU FTA negotiations in June 2018.

More information about the Australia-EU FTA.

Business

Several Australian companies have a presence in Hungary, including QBE Insurance (insurance services), TFE Hotels (Adina hotel), Hotel Clark in Budapest, ResMed (medical technology), and Nufarm (agricultural technology).

Austrade’s office in Poland is responsible for Hungary.

Travel

See Smartraveller for information on travelling to Hungary.

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