There has been a recent push to source a greater range of Hungarian products for sale in Singapore. This is part of an initiative by Singapore's prime minister to encourage Hungarian companies to use Singapore as an efficient trading and distribution base for Hungarian products into Southeast Asia.

Since 1996, bilateral trade with Hungary has grown by on average 50% each year. The prime minister has noted that Hungarian products are sold in the largest supermarket chain in Singapore (NTUC FairPrice). He believes that even more "can be done to promote Hungarian products in Singapore and Asia". He has urged Hungary to use Singapore as a commercial gateway to Asia.

However, food is only one area that is being considered. Hungary offers Singapore businesses a range of new investment opportunities as it prepares to join the European Union. The prime minister's visit to many of the Central European countries (all of which are in line to join the European Union) signals that Singapore is keen to secure a foothold in the new growth area. Thus far, about 50 Singapore companies have established themselves in Hungary.

More recently, Hungarian and Singapore companies in high-technology sectors have been uniting. Other areas of possible union between companies of both countries include life sciences, housing construction and tourism.

For further information on this topic please contact Lawrence Teh at Rodyk & Davidson by telephone (+65 225 2626) or by fax (+65 225 1838) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

This update was extracted and edited from news in Singapore's The Straits Times.

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