Swedes and Hungarians Work Great Together — Interview with H.E. Niclas Trouvé

Photo: Niclas Trouvé. Photo credit: Office of the President of the Republic of Hungary

Sweden and Hungary share a long history of cooperation. Today, almost 200 Swedish companies operate in Hungary in ICT, telecom, automotive, transportation, health care, energy, and environment sectors. We had the honor of interviewing H.E. Niclas Trouvé, Ambassador of Sweden to Hungary, to talk about the existing and prospective cooperation between these two countries.

Sweden and Hungary have well-established economic cooperation. Many Swedish companies, such as IKEA, Ericsson, Electrolux, Sigma Technology, and others entered the Hungarian market. Your Excellency, why do you think this cooperation is increasing and beneficial for Sweden and Hungary?

The cooperation between Hungary and Sweden creates job opportunities, economic growth, and above all, it contributes to Hungary’s export as most Swedish companies in Hungary export to the world market. Many Swedish companies are world technology leaders and by joining the Hungarian market, Swedish companies will share their knowledge and know-how. The European Union is a key factor in this increasing cooperation. Because of the single market, Swedish and Hungarian companies can invest on equal terms with full access to the whole EU market. The Gripen cooperation is also of great importance for Swedish-Hungarian cooperation. The long history of friendship has been characterized by continuing beneficial collaboration and commitment, which makes it natural to increase cooperation. Swedes and Hungarians work great together!

How would you describe the business and economic environment in Hungary?

Hungary has a favorable and business-friendly economic environment. It offers a strategic geographical location in the heart of Europe along with well-educated and cost-beneficial labor force—an interesting market for Swedish companies. Hungary’s infrastructure and investment-friendly economic policy have contributed to attracting foreign investments. Production costs continue to be competitive; however, an increased shortage of labor force and rising wages can be noted in the last years. Another key challenge is to tackle issues related to transparency and climate change. In an era of climate change, it is a challenge to develop a strategy for long-term sustainable business. In a globalized and reshaping world, it is also a challenge for the business sector to adapt to the trends of automation and digitalization in order to stay competitive.

How does the Embassy of Sweden in Budapest contribute to the development of cooperation between Sweden and Hungary?

One of my Embassy’s core tasks is to promote and assist the Swedish business in Hungary. Our aim is to regularly meet with the Swedish companies and listen to their needs and demands. Here in Budapest, we are in a good position as, in addition to the Embassy, the Swedish Trade & Investment Council Business Sweden has a separate office. Naturally, we work closely together under the brand name “Team Sweden” and, together with many of the Swedish companies, we run several programs and projects. A great initiative we implemented a few years ago was to map the Swedish business presence in Hungary and present our findings in a Swedish-Hungarian Business Guide.

Our mapping showed that there are almost 200 Swedish companies active in Hungary employing about 20,000 Hungarians. — Niclas Trouvé

In a more recent project, in which Sigma Technology is also a partner, our aim is to match established Swedish corporations with innovative and dynamic start-up companies from the whole Central European region. Another exciting project we are working on is to identify business opportunities for Swedish companies in the Hungarian health care sector, which is currently undergoing huge changes and investments.

Lucia reception event organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Budapest

The Lucia reception event organized by the Embassy of Sweden in Budapest, Business Sweden, and partners in December 2018.

Why do you believe it is important for the Embassy to support business development in the country?

I think that is obvious if Swedish companies are doing well abroad that is also good for Sweden. The success of Swedish companies in Hungary helps to secure jobs and tax revenues back home in Sweden. International Swedish companies are also assisting us as “country brand ambassadors” showing the world the modern, innovative, and creative Sweden. Obviously, it is also beneficial for Hungary to receive Swedish investments, so it is a true win-win for everyone, which is the beauty of free trade and open markets.

We express our gratitude to H.E. Niclas Trouvé for the interview.

György Nagy, Country Manager at Sigma Technology Hungary, concludes,

“It feels great for Sigma Technology Hungary to be a member of ‘Team Sweden’—an informal conglomerate of organizations and businesses with Swedish roots and sharing the same fundamental values. Our close partnership with Business Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden in Hungary has already resulted in a number of successful business, social, and cultural initiatives, and with so many things that need to be changed in the world for the better, I foresee a long period of fruitful cooperation ahead of us.”

For more information about Sigma Technology Hungary, contact György Nagy, gyorgy.nagy@sigmatechnology.se.

H.E. Niclas Trouvé and György Nagy at the Midsummer Party organized by Sigma Technology

H.E. Niclas Trouvé and György Nagy at the Midsummer Party organized by Sigma Technology in June 2018. Photo credit: Csaba Molnár

About Sigma Technology

Sigma Technology is part of Sigma and is a global supplier of product information, software & embedded design, and offshore development. We are experts with a passion for technology and information. We take pride in delivering quality and constantly improving our deliveries. Our philosophy is “Local Drive – Global Strength”, therefore we have offices worldwide to be close to our customers. For a complete picture, visit sigmatechnology.se.

Sigma is owned by Danir AB and has about 4,400 employees in 14 countries.

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