Welcome note from the IHBA Chairman
I’m pleased to welcome you to the Irish Hungarian Business Association website! Please take a minute to read below about our goals and ambitions for promoting Irish – Hungarian bilateral trade.
The Irish Hungarian Business Association (IHBA) has been promoting Hungarian and Irish business collaboration for nearly 3 decades, supporting very ambitious goals, including the accession of Hungary in the EU and the introduction of the first direct flight between Budapest and Dublin.
To this end, the association has been strongly engaged with the Irish-Hungarian business community in Ireland, including multinationals and small businesses. We are here for everyone and we want to hear from all of you who have a business ambition that bridges across the two countries.
For the period ahead of us we have selected two core themes for our activities.
Collaboration through the European Union – to support joint projects, participation in EU forums, EU funding applications and other EU platforms and means that can be leveraged together with the aim of promoting Irish-Hungarian bilateral trade.
Cultural Exchange – to support and promote any type of business initiative – gastronomy, health, arts, sciences, agriculture, sports and beyond – focused on advancing cultural exchange between Ireland and Hungary.
Apart from these two core themes, we are certainly here to support any Irish-Hungarian initiative. Please reach out to us as we would love to help you bring your ideas to life and reach your ambitions!
I look forward to working with you all on achieving new Irish-Hungarian successes!
Dr Csaba Kiss Kalló
Irish Hungarian Business Association Mission Statement
- Promote two way investment, trade, commerce and tourism between Hungary and the Republic of Ireland through personal connections.
- Enable business people and companies to share their experience to mutual advantage by demolishing Cultural and Language barriers.
- Reward and Educate businesses to increase success in both countries.
Ambassador István Pálffy – President
Dr Csaba Kiss Kalló – Chairman
Valentina Fazekas – Board Member, Embassy Relations
Sean Eustace – Vice Chairman
John McMillan – Treasurer
Dorina Vass – Board Member
Ágnes Chvojka – Board Member
Botond Tarcsay – Board Member
Ákos Varga – Board Member
The formation and economic emphasis of the IHBA was promoted by George Eaton, Hungary’s Irish Honorary Consul and its establishment coincided with the appointment of Dr Géza Kollar Hungarys first Trade Counsellor to Ireland. The Association enjoyed support from the earliest days from the Irish Trade Board and this continues to the present through its successor Enterprise Ireland. There has been close connection with the Hungarian Embassy in Ireland since it opened in 1991 with the Ambassador as Honorary President of the IHBA.
Hungarian EU Membership
From the earliest days the IHBA actively promoted Hungary’s admission to full membership of the EU. In the mid 1990’s Mary Kelly, a post graduate student of Trinity College, was engaged to make a study on “The Implications for Ireland of Hungary’s Integration into Europe” This study effectively became a significant work of reference in the debate on EU enlargement.
Hungary became a member of the European Union on the 1st May 2004. The membership has had significant positive effects on the Hungarian economy, and provides important competitive advantages for companies in the country.
Annually the IHBA presents a prestigious Award to the company or individual “who is judged to have made significant contribution to Irish Hungarian economic relations”. Recipients have included Avonmore, one of the early entrants into the Hungarian dairy industry, Navan Resources, Galway Chamber of Commerce, Grafton Recruitment, ICC Bank, retired Irish Ambassador Jim Flavin and in 2004, CP3, the Irish software company. Even the Irish pub Becketts was recognised in 1993 when Irish expatriates made it their unofficial Irish Chamber of Commerce.