Canada and Hungary enjoy close bilateral relations. Ties date to waves of immigration in the late 19th century. Canada is well known in Hungary as a refuge for those who fled after the 1956 Revolution. More recently, our early and strong support for NATO enlargement and the fact that Canada was the first Alliance member to ratify Hungarian accession in 1999 were also noted and appreciated. Today, over 315,000 people residing in Canada claim Hungarian descent. They make up an important ethnic community, and contribute to Canada's national diversity.
In Hungary, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Budapest. Hungary is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa, and has honorary consuls in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
The Governor General of Canada made a State Visit to Hungary in November 2008, paying visits to government officials as well as local artistic, cultural and youth groups.
The Canadian community in Hungary plays an active role in the life of Budapest and other towns. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, established in 1993, is actively involved in the organization of business-related and social events.
A variety of Canada-related subjects are taught at academic institutions throughout the country; certain universities also host active Canadian Studies centres with a special curriculum and a collection of Canadian books. Involved scholars and students work closely with the Central-European Association of Canadian Studies encompassing more than nine countries and currently presided by a Hungarian professor. Canadian guest artists mostly in the field of music and modern dance regularly visit Hungary and are welcomed by the public. A number of Canadian authors (mainly contemporary) have been translated into Hungarian and enjoy popularity; some of them were invited Guests of Honour at the International Book Festival in 2007 in Budapest.
Hungary’s membership in NATO has led to close cooperation with Canada. Hungary has run a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan, since October 2006 and co-hosted a conference on PRT effectiveness in July 2006 with Canada and the USA. Canadian military and civilian experts from both the PRT in Kandahar and from Ottawa visited Budapest in 2007 to share best practices with Hungarian officials and brief them on Canadian experiences in implementing Whole-of-Government mechanisms.
Many large Canadian investors are present in Hungary, including Westcast, Linamar, Bombardier LAB International, Winstar and General Woods and Veneers.
Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Hungary totalled $510.715 million in 2010, with Canadian exports at $165.913 million and imports at $344.8 million. The main exports to Hungary consisted of electronic and electrical equipment, scientific and precision instruments, machinery, arts and antiques, and vehicles.
Canada’s main imports from Hungary were machinery (32.6% of Canadian imports from Hungary), electronic and electrical equipment (31.8% of imports), pharmaceutical products, vehicles, and organic chemicals.
Cumulative Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) into Hungary was valued at $12.1 billion at the end of 2010 in the sectors of finances and services. Statistics Canada does not divulge the amount of Hungarian direct investment in Canada due to confidentiality
Last updated: July 2011
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