Hungary's national trade agency opened its office in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek on Tuesday to help small and medium sized enterprises of both countries access markets in the region.
Office manager Zorica Paliz-Totha said this was the first such office in Croatia and one of 22 to be opened in eight central European countries by year's end. She said the aim of the office was to help SMEs offering products and services with high added value to export them on the central European market.
She said the Osijek office would help Hungarian SMEs find their way on the Croatian market and Croatian enterprises wishing to export to Hungary or other countries in which the Hungarian agency has offices.
Hungarian Ambassador to Croatia Jozsef Magyar said the Hungarian and Croatian governments believed that SMEs were a basis for economic cooperation. Hungary is Croatia's fifth trade partner, yet Croatia is Hungary's 18th, so one should focus on border area cooperation, he said, recalling that the two countries have a 350-km-long border with seven road and three rail crossings, whereas Hungary has many more border crossings with Slovenia, Austria and Slovakia which businesses could use.
The Hungarian foreign minister's assistant for the Danube strategy, Joo Istvan, said Hungarian-Croatian trade was growing and that SMEs had growth potential. He said the Osijek office would give businessmen information and help on how to access new markets, research potential partners in new markets, and obtain work permits and draw financial aid.