Department of Economy and Finance

Fields of activity

The Embassy promotes Swiss-Hungarian economic and business relations. It represents Swiss economic interests in Hungary and keeps official and interested parties in Switzerland informed about the developments in Hungary.

In the field of trade promotion it cooperates i.a. with the Business Network Switzerland (OSEC), the Swiss-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce in Budapest (Swisscham), the Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-Hungary in Zurich (HSU) and the Chamber of Commerce Switzerland – Central Europe (SEC). For further information about these organisations, please use the respective links on the right side.

The Embassy keeps Swiss interested parties informed about:

  • the economic situation of Hungary
  • potential Hungarian business partners
  • general tax and customs questions
  • fairs in Hungary

The Embassy promotes Switzerland as a business location by informing appropriate Hungarian partners about the economic, political and cultural framework conditions in Switzerland. These informations can be accessed through the OSEC-website. 

Bilateral Economic Relation

The legal framework of Swiss-Hungarian economic relations are the following arrangements:

  • Agreement for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and property, entered into force on 27.06.1982
  • Agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investement, entered into force on 16.05.1989
  • Bilateral agreements Switzerland-EEC, since the accession of Hungary to the EU

Development of trade

Hungary is the third most important trade partner of Switzerland in Central Europe (after Poland and the Czech Republic). Switzerland traditionally has a trade surplus in the foreign trade with Hungary. 

According to the data of the Eid.Zollverwaltung the Swiss export to Hungary in 2008 amounted to SFR 1,172 M (-3,1%); the import amounted to SFR 1,159 M (5,5%). The trade surplus was SFR 13 M.

The most important export products to Hungary are chemicals and pharma products (40%), machines and instruments (29 %), vehicles, first of all rail track vehicles (7 %) and metals (10%). 

Regarding imports from Hungary the dominant products are machines and instruments (53%), followed by vehicles (14%) and agricultural and forestry products (10%). The high proportion of machinery is related to the important presence of the Swiss machine industry in Hungary and its continuous efforts to increase its production.

Direct investment

According to the data of the Hungarian National Bank the Swiss direct investment in Hungary amounted in 2007 to Euro 883,8 M. Consequently Switzerland is among the first ten investors in Hungary. About 300 Swiss firms have settled in Hungary and they employ more than 27 000 people. Not only the multinational companies like Nestlé, Holcim or ABB but also the middle sized firms such as Calida, Phoenix Mecano, Maxon Motor, Cabtec or Goessler Kuverts continuously increase their activities in Hungary.

Significant technical and financial aid

Switzerland was one of the first European countries to provide legal, as well as financial aid, to assist the nations of Central and Eastern Europe in their transition to democracy and a market economy. A total of SFr 75M was spent during the period 1990/2000; this sum funded projects in fields as different as the reform of vocational training, continuing education of teachers, reform of the judicial and police systems, management of small and medium-sized companies, modernisation of energy and water supplies and distribution, as well as environment protection.

Swiss-Hungarian co-operation program to reduce the economic and social inequalities within the enlarged EU

On November 26, 2006 the Swiss constituents approved in a referendum the federal law on co-operation with the countries of Eastern Europe. As covenanted with the EU and on the basis of this law the Swiss government will support selected projects in Hungary with a total amount of 130.738 million Swiss Francs (ca. 21 billion HUF).

The Swiss-Hungarian co-operation program will focus on the following topics: support of regional development initiatives in peripheral or disadvantaged regions (for example within the domain of employment, education, social services and tourism); prevention and handling of natural disasters; rehabilitation and modernization of basic infrastructure and improvement of the environment, mainly municipal water supply, waste management and introduction of renewable energy systems as well as environmental monitoring systems; promotion of the private sector, especially SME through improving their business environment and their access to financing as well as promotion of exports of SME; education and research; health care at a primary level of care, disease prevention and health promotion and support of co-operation between Swiss and Hungarian municipalities and regions as well as NGO in the fields of social services and environmental concerns. Geographically the co-operation program will give special attention to the regions of North-eastern and Eastern Hungary.

The Hungarian National Development Agency (NFÜ) will have a central role in coordinating and executing the Swiss-Hungarian co-operation program. All project proposals will have to be submitted to this agency. The program will be closely accompanied by the Swiss authorities. In order to accomplish that the “Swiss Contribution Office” has been established at the Swiss Embassy. For further information on the implementation of this program please refer to the respective links at the right side.

Attention! Swiss Invest

On 6 September 2010, the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 2 million (approx. EUR 7 000) on SWISS INVEST 2009 Hungary Pénzügyi Szolgáltató Kft and prohibited the undertaking from continuing to publish the investigated advertisements with the objected content. The publication of the decision by GVH can be found under the following link: 
Fine imposed by the GVH on purchasing group organizer SWISS INVEST

Please note that this company has no connection to Switzerland whatsoever. The use of the “Swiss” branding is therefore misleading. For any further information, please contact our trade officer:

Mr. Robert Kattein

Tel.: +36 1 460 70 58
Fax: +36 1 364 90 55

Attention! (Intercable)

The so called “Central European Trade Register” advertised by Intercable AG is not in any way associated with the Swiss Contribution provided by Switzerland for the 10 states that joined the EU on 1 May 2004.

Since July 2007, Intercable AG has been sending out forms advertising registration in the Central European Trade Register. Signing and returning the form results in the conclusion of an advertising contract for a listing in a private trade directory. The contract requires a minimum 3-year registration period. Annual registration fees are 890 EUR, which amounts to 2’670 EUR for three years.

The Central European Trade Register advertised by Intercable AG is not in any way associated with the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme to reduce economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union. Anyone who signs Intercable AG's form concludes a contract involving fees, and will not benefit in any way from the Swiss Contribution.

For further information you can download the official information document of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, using the Link on the right side.

Be aware that no company or institution has been officially authorized to access the Swiss Contribution for private companies. Project identification will be carried out by the National Development Agency (NFÜ) and publicised on their website.