Under the leadership of Jean Symphorien Mapenzi, the First Vice-President of the Central African Republic National Assembly, the Parliamentary Delegation of the Central African Republic visited several European countries this year and the trip included Hungary in March 2019. The goal of the delegation next to the starting the diplomatic connection was an examination of the various sectors that could find solutions to many of the problems needs be solved. Not just developing the education and health care, but solving the water situation which is crucial for surviving and buying shortage items from the European Union. The HTCC was responsible for organising the delegation’s programs in Budapest during which the delegation had the chance to meet with relevant partners and the HTCC hosted a function together with the Organization of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in hour of the delegation from Bangui.
The Hungarian companies’ attitude was so pleasing to the delegation that they would like to strengthen the trade links between the two countries. HTCC stepped up and offered to open a franchise office and as a result the contract was signed in October after several months of negotiation. After signing the document, the 13th office in Africa was opened by the Hungarian Trace and Cultural Centre. “The opening of a new office in the Central African Republic fits perfectly to the company's regional expansion strategy. This is our second office in the ECCAS region alongside Gabon, which is opening new gates for Hungarian businesses in this area. This is truly exotic situation, essentially Hungarian presence has not been present in these two countries before yet alone in a broader sense in the region” said Balázs Szilágyi, the Business Development Director of HTCC. Main the activities the office will start with will be the recruitment of students to Hungarian universities and solutions seeking to the needs in the aforementioned sectors in the Central African Republic.
The challenge is great since there isn’t any Hungarian diplomatic representation in the Central African Republic. It means before any university application procedure the potential student has to travel to Nigeria to appear before the consul in order to obtain the student visa – which steepens the cost of the pre-application period.
The Central African Republic strongly advocates for strengthening the diplomatic connections with Hungary and the state hopes that the opportunities and future outcomes of the competitive sector will accelerate this process. Opening the HTCC Bangui will be the very first step in the direction of trade development and it is just the beginning. The road is long and hard but relying on persevering work of both parties we are all counting on fruitful cooperation in several fields.