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Introduction

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary was established in Budapest on October 27th, 1995. The initiative was taken by a number of Swedish companies in Hungary, jointly with the Swedish Trade Council and the Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, in response to the expanding economic and commercial relations between Sweden and Hungary.

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary has become a well-known, respected and very active non-profit, non-political organisation, a leading voice of the Swedish businesses in Hungary. Since its establishment the membership of our Chamber has grown rapidly; currently we have 46 ordinary members, 27 associated members and 13 honorary members, we employ directly close to 10,000 people, and have invested more than 1 billion EUR in Hungary throughout the last 12 – 14. The annual turnover of these companies exceeds 2 billion EUR. Swedish direct investments total around 600 million EUR since 1990.

The general purpose of the Chamber is to promote and contribute to the development of trade and business relations and business related initiatives and activities between Hungary and Sweden, and to support the business interests of its members. Its task was to support mutual co-operation and friendship between Hungary and Sweden, to encourage trade investments and economic developments and to help our members monitor, understand and influence events within the Hungarian business community.

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary is a forum for the establishment and development of professional and social contacts between its members, both companies and individuals.

We provide relevant information to our members primarily through our web site (www.swedishchamber.hu). We organize  programmes and business events with outstanding guest speakers.

We co-operate with other Chambers of Commerce in areas of common interest. In 1998 the Chamber joined "The Permanent Commission of EU-Chambers in Hungary", where today we are an active member.

And needless to say we are proud of our co-operation with the Embassy of Sweden. The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is actively taking part in the intense collaboration program between Hungary and Sweden in the fields of political dialogue, culture, regional cooperation and business promotion.

As influential players of the Hungarian economy and society and good corporate citizens both the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary and its members devote significant resources for charity purposes every year. Recently – with contributions from the Swedish Embassy and the Chamber – we have established the “Wallenberg Fund” with the purpose to support students from the “Raoul Wallenberg vocational and secondary grammar school for human studies” in Budapest.

And the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hungary – last but not least – is a forum for Swedes and Hungarians to have fun together, whether in Hencse at a golf tournament, in Villány or Tokaj at a wine tasting, or celebrating together the Lucia Day. Every year, on December 13th the whole Sweden celebrates Sancta Lucia. This tradition is a way to introduce light, friendship and hospitality in the midst of the December darkness. Our Chamber revives this tradition every year, on December 13th celebrating with our members, families, partners and friends.

The SCCH mission statement remains unchanged since the need identified 18 years ago is still current and valid. Nevertheless, our scope of activity has to reflect the current economic climate and modified needs of our members, in a way that inspires commitment, innovation and courage.

It is also vital that we explore how we can continue to improve our activities and create new added values and benefits for our members. A better future for Sweden, for Hungary, for the European Union, for all of us! A better future in a global, competitive world!

János Takács
President, SCCH