With a target of $6B bilateral trade volume, Turkey and Hungary have developed tourism and trade activities since 2013.
According to a report published by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), the trade volume between Hungary and Turkey has grown by 55% in the last 10 years.
Bilateral development especially started accelerating in 2013 when a Strategic Cooperation Council was established, and tourism and trade activities between the two countries have increased considerably since then.
In the last five years, the amount of direct investment from Turkey to Hungary also increased from $100 million to $2 billion.
Adnan Polat, head of the Turkey-Hungary Business Council, previously said Hungary is a country with serious investment incentives as well as logistics investments.
"Mutual investments make it possible for Turkey to open up to the European market and for Hungary to trade with the Middle East."
Additionally, he said, Hungary provides lucrative incentives for investment.
"It has the lowest corporate tax in Europe. Hungarian Eximbank also supports investors," he stated.
With some $1.6 billion bilateral trade volume five years ago, it rose to $3.6 billion before the COVID-19 pandemic, he elaborated.
"Five years ago, Turkish investment in Hungary did not reach €100 million ($118 million), now it is over €2 billion," Polat added.
Viktor Matis, Hungary’s ambassador to Turkey, said once: "A few years ago Turkey said it would be among the world's 10 largest economies and there is no question whether this will happen or not. The only question is when. We think this will happen in a short time."
In general, 97.5% of Turkey's exports to Hungary consists of industrial products and 2.5% of which is agricultural products.
In the Hungary's imports, Turkey ranks 15th with a share of 1.2%.
- Facilitative measures, cultural ties
Turkey and Hungary have worked together over the years to make bilateral travel easier for their citizens.
For Hungarians, there is no need for a visa to enter Turkey.
During the pandemic, Budapest reciprocated by keeping Turkey on its list of safe travel countries, also offering exemptions to Turkish businesspeople and even dropping the requirement of vaccination proof for visa applications last month.
According to Matis, Hungary is a gateway to Europe for Turks; and for Hungarians, Turkey is a bridge between the East and the West.
He said that Hungarians view Turkey as a second home, with the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya featuring as their favorite destination.
Renowned for its cultural activities and events, Hungary has been hosting a traditional Turkish event – Great Kurultaj – since 2008.
Budapest has also long been a supporter of Ankara’s bid to join the EU.
Matis also reaffirmed that Hungary fully backs Turkey in this matter and will continue to do so.
“Hungary is a door to the EU for Turkey and Turkey is a bridge for Hungary to the Middle East,” the envoy said.