Viktor Orbán’s state visit in India

What a happy day for Viktor Orbán. He is on an official state visit to India, with all the attendant pomp and circumstance. I can well imagine his pride when he walked down the red carpet accompanied by a Indian officer, dressed all in white, with sword drawn. And that long line of soldiers several rows deep. I suggest that you take a look at the official photos on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Viktor Orbán in his element / Source: Viktor Orbán Facebook page

Viktor Orbán in his element / Source: Viktor Orbán Facebook page

In keeping with the Orbán government’s standard practice, the official word of his three-day visit to India came only yesterday afternoon, after he boarded the plane. The trip was announced both in Hungarian and in English. Mind you, the English version sounds a bit odd because it says that “the prime minister holds official visit in India.” (You see, this is what can happen when politicians buy certificates of foreign language proficiency, as we found out a few days ago. Language professors at the Hungarian Reformed University did a brisk business selling these phony certificates. Among their clients they had a VIP group that was handled separately.)

As soon as the news of Orbán’s trip was out, sarcastic headlines appeared in blogs and other Internet sites. I liked the one that read:  “Viktor Orbán will fight for three days in India.” Actually, ever since August when Péter Szijjártó visited New Delhi one could sense that something was in the offing even though in the past Szijjártó’s extensive travels seldom resulted in an invitation for a state visit. This time he was successful.

Orbán was accompanied by Mihály Varga, minister of economics, Zoltán Balog, minister of human resources, and Péter Szijjártó, undersecretary in charge of  external economic relations and foreign affairs. The schedule is rather tight. Today Orbán delivered a lecture at the Indian Foreign Policy Institute entitled “Hungary and Europe in a Changing World,” and later in the day he will address the Hungary-India business forum. After meeting with Shree Pranab Mukherjee, India’s president, he will also “exchange views” with Sonia Ghandi, the chairman of the United Progressive Alliance. Tonight he will be meeting with India’s prime minister, Mamohan Singh, to sign several bilateral cooperation agreements in R & D, medicine, culture, sports, and aviation. Hmmm! Not exactly heavy-weight business cooperation between the two countries. Tomorrow he will open the Mumbai stock exchange and later in the day will inaugurate the opening of a Hungarian consulate in Mumbai.

“More than seventy Hungarian and several dozen Indian businessmen” attended his speech at the Foreign Affairs Institute. Considering that 66 Hungarian firms went along with the prime minister’s entourage, it looks as if Hungarian business interest in India may be greater than Indian business interest in Hungary. I would like to see the list of businessmen who went along with the official Hungarian delegation.

Orbán clearly would like to have more trade with non-European countries. He explained that 82% of Hungary’s exports go the countries in the European Union and three years ago only 8% went to non-European countries. This number by now is 12%, and “by 2018 he would like it to reach 33%.” He was always an ambitious man. He emphasized his own “re-industrialization” project which would provide great opportunities for Indian businessmen. Although the large business contingent indicates that he would also like to increase Hungary’s business footprint in India, the speech emphasized investment in Hungary where there are already a few Indian businesses. I do hope, however, that not too many Indian businessmen remember Apollo Tyres’s attempt to set up a factory in Gyöngyös in 2008, which Orbán managed to wreck.

Orbán spent a great deal of time expounding his long-held belief that European economic success will come only from the Central European region. He claimed that Hungary is one of those countries that have already left behind their economic woes and are on the road to spectacular near-term growth. He asked Indian businessmen and politicians “to put Central Europe on their map.” (The prime minister’s upbeat economic pronouncements came at about the same time a business analyst announced that there are two countries that aren’t following the Central European growth pattern: Hungary and Romania.)

It’s hard to imagine, but he even managed to squeeze into his speech his favorite theory of late: Europe’s past greatness derived from its Christian roots as formulated by Saint Benedict in his rules of monastic life “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work). Today the old rule is still applicable. Only hard work and a return to its Christian roots will make Europe great again. The Indian audience  must have been impressed considering the religious diversity of their own country where one can find followers of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and the Bahá’i Faith, just to mention the most important.

Of course, there will be more speeches and a lot of boasting about the successes of Hungary, but only time will tell how useful this trip was. Similar attempts in Russia, China, and the Middle East have brought only meager results thus far.

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gdfxx
Guest

Lots of Bollywood products on MTV, this is what I expect…

Guest

The official pictures are funny!

A bit OT:

What have I done wrong ? I don’t see the “sidebar” with the recent comments any more – only the list of recent posts.

Kirsten
Guest

” three years ago only 8% went to non-European countries. This number by now is 12%, and “by 2018 he would like it to reach 33%.”

This can be achieved also by falling exports to the European countries, and stable exports to the other countries (or falling less). So why not.

tappanch
Guest

Preview from Azerbaijan:

This is how the reactions to the 2014 Hungarian election will look like even if Fidesz rigs them – there will be European organizations that endorse it, some will condemn them it, but EU and US governments will remain mostly silent – European public will yawn. UNLESS the Hungarian public organizes itself IN ADVANCE and raise hell through demonstrations.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24573024

oneill
Guest

“The schedule is rather tight”

A bit like Vik’s trousers in the official pictures. Keep off the vindaloos please, Dear Leader.

I do have a funny story about the present The Regime presented to the Indians but I need to confirm one of two facts about it tomorrow though.
One of the brainless Orbanist Poodles mistook the Himalayas for the Alps is all I’ll say at this stage

Ivan
Guest

A nod to the culture of Rajasthan would obviously be appropriate from the Hungarian leader. (Bet it won’t happen)

An
Guest

I don’t see the sidebar with “recent comments” either, only “recent posts.” It just happened recently; it worked fine couple of hours ago. It’s no fun, as I need to scroll through all the comments to a post to see the last one.

Bertalan
Guest

The Indo-Hungarian relations are traditionally good. We believe that there is a great market for Hungarian apples in India. At the same time Hungary could import bananas and cinnamon from there. If we could increase our agricultural exports by 300%, it could solve a lot of problems in Hungary. India is a huge emerging market with lots of hungry mouths, we are well-positions to take advantage of this opportunity. The Eastern opening is the way to go.

gdfxx
Guest

Bertalan :
The Indo-Hungarian relations are traditionally good. We believe that there is a great market for Hungarian apples in India. At the same time Hungary could import bananas and cinnamon from there. If we could increase our agricultural exports by 300%, it could solve a lot of problems in Hungary. India is a huge emerging market with lots of hungry mouths, we are well-positions to take advantage of this opportunity. The Eastern opening is the way to go.

Who is the We you are referring to?

By the way, India is the fifth largest producer of apples in the world, I wonder how big of a market it is for apples from Hungary. Also, assuming that there is a market for apples in India, how can Hungary compete with large producers and exporters, like China (producing half of the world’s apple crop) or the USA?

andy 'babe'
Guest

Methinks this trip might increase the number of Hung. residencies / citizenships legally issued by the govermnent for 250,000 usd per citizenship.

In the news today was that the commission paid by the government to the brokers selling these entitlements are in the 40,000 USD range per entitlement, paid to offshore companies…

Hey, we’re in b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s…

Bertalan
Guest

Well, we can also sell Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine. India is a big market, 3-4 times as big as the whole of the European Union. It is time to face the facts: growth is in Asia, not in the declining West. The Ministry will continue to look for markets for the world-renowned Hungarian products. For example Rába, which is now state-owned, will start producing buses soon, we can sell those too. And trucks. The sky is the limit. We will also target Indonesia and Vietnam.

An
Guest

Re: Recent Comments link

Apparently, WordPress is working on the problem. So let’s hope we’ll get the “recent comments” back.

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/missing-comments-in-recent-comments-widget?replies=1

LwiiH
Guest

Kirsten :
” three years ago only 8% went to non-European countries. This number by now is 12%, and “by 2018 he would like it to reach 33%.”
This can be achieved also by falling exports to the European countries, and stable exports to the other countries (or falling less). So why not.

Aren’t percentages funny that way? Given the differences in Indian and Hungarian cost structures it’s difficult to see what Hungary has to offer ‘cept more routes to the bigger European markets. If that’s all you have to sell…….

Kirsten
Guest

LwiiH: Bertalan summarised what he believes to be the basis of future Hungarian wealth: “Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine”.

Bertalan: “It is time to face the facts: growth is in Asia, not in the declining West.”

Haha. It is time to face the facts that the growing countries in Asia will prefer either high quality capital goods or French or Italian luxury products. No matter how you look at it, “Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine” do not fall into either category. Or do you think only because they are dynamic they will buy whatever medieval Hungary can offer?

Guest

Kirsten :
LwiiH: Bertalan summarised what he believes to be the basis of future Hungarian wealth: “Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine”.
Bertalan: “It is time to face the facts: growth is in Asia, not in the declining West.”
Haha. It is time to face the facts that the growing countries in Asia will prefer either high quality capital goods or French or Italian luxury products. No matter how you look at it, “Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine” do not fall into either category. Or do you think only because they are dynamic they will buy whatever medieval Hungary can offer?

It seems that Bertalan is pulling your leg.

Come on!
Guest

Bertalan :
Well, we can also sell Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine. India is a big market, 3-4 times as big as the whole of the European Union. It is time to face the facts: growth is in Asia, not in the declining West. The Ministry will continue to look for markets for the world-renowned Hungarian products. For example Rába, which is now state-owned, will start producing buses soon, we can sell those too. And trucks. The sky is the limit. We will also target Indonesia and Vietnam.

Trappista cheese is uneatable, Túró Rudi owned by a Dutch company and countries like India are not waiting for buses they themselves can produce much cheaper and better.

gdfxx
Guest

Bertalan :
Well, we can also sell Túró Rudi, Trappista cheese and Hungarian wine.

Hungarian wine will be a good seller in the Muslim community of India.

tappanch
Guest

MAFIA ALERT!

Orban’s son-in-law had trees cut from other people’s lands he wanted to take hold of.
Now Orban’s ministry fines the poor owners for damaging the environment.

These are typical mafia methods. But here the state has been completely taken over by the mafia.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20131018_Azokat_szivatjak_akiknek_elloptak_az_erdo

Guest

OT:
Why has Hungarian cheese to be expensive and/or uneatable (like the horrible Trapista)?
We always bring our cheese from Germany …

Re India:

My granddaughter and her boyfriend just spent 12 months in India and Nepal (actually after 6 months they had to leave, went to Thailand and Indonesia and then applied for a new 6 month visa) after finishing university and brought thousands of interesting, but often disturbing pictures …

I don’t think Hungary can do much business there – it’s the same situation as in China, Hungary might just serve as an entry point for the EU.

PS:
They had set themselves a limit for spending: 10 € per person a day – and they managed!

tappanch
Guest

@Eva

We heard that in Afghanistan, one vote is worth $5 to $10.
Hungary is “half-Asian” [Orban], so here they pay $50 for a vote.

Guest

Thank you, whoever it is @ wordpress – comments have reappeared!

Here are some interesting remarks on O’s visit to India:
http://www.bbj.hu/politics/orban-in-india-quotes-agreements-talk-of-history_70833

Guest

And now something totally OT:

Nimrod Antal – the famous maker of the movie “Kontroll” who went back to Hollywood to do “Predators” has made a film with/about the Rockband Metallica: Through the Never

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimr%C3%B3d_Antal
There’s even a report on this in the German media:

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/musik/metallica-lars-ulrich-und-roberto-trujillo-zu-through-the-never-a-928635.html

spectator
Guest

Whoa!
Looks like a target practice – someone’s looking through the scope already?
If it isn’t, then it must be one of those red dots Matolcsy mentioned a way back…
Never thought though, that our eastern origin could become so obvious when in the right circumstances, like in the east someplace.
Lifelong learning, that’s what it takes…

spectator
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
Braking news: Definite proof that Fidesz paid off Gypsies who actually would have rather voted for “Melinda.” 200,000 forints for four families and firewood. Nine-minute video.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I4x963_Acs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=595&h=365%5D

The only surprise here that it surfaced, – probably the payment hasn’t came yet again.
Oh well, hard times, indeed…

Wondercat
Guest

In opening Hungary to India, OV is playing a very long — and very clever — game.

A dark-skinned, dark-haired man or woman — Roma or investor?

Look soon for Fidesz-financed turban-folding and sari-draping classes among the Roma, who need (once folded or draped) only to repeat Nem ertem, nem ertem, to be accepted as, financially at least, igaz Magyar.

spectator
Guest

Wondercat :
In opening Hungary to India, OV is playing a very long — and very clever — game.
A dark-skinned, dark-haired man or woman — Roma or investor?
Look soon for Fidesz-financed turban-folding and sari-draping classes among the Roma, who need (once folded or draped) only to repeat Nem ertem, nem ertem, to be accepted as, financially at least, igaz Magyar.

You certainly wouldn’t mean, that seeking the roots can be mistaken with such kind of economically motivated intentions, would you?

Just think of the implications of when all the Roma suddenly would leave Hungary and move back to the Punjab – what would happen with our carefully groomed image – I nearly said “identity” – but still…

At least Orbán making the pilgrimage, hopefully it would count for the rest too, and we should settle with this.

Ron
Guest

Ot While VO is spending a nice paid holiday in India,. In Hungary people try to survive schools. First there is the open letter from School Secretaries.

http://index.hu/belfold/2013/10/18/149_nevtelen_iskolatitkar_irt_levelet_hoffmann_rozsanak/

The school in Obuda just re-hired a Chemical Teacher, she is currently around 75 years old. The funny (or actually not so funny part is that she had three pension/farewell parties, but every time she is called back, and she agreed to do it. Btw she is hired on a two month’s contract, which needs to be renewed every time.

This despite the fact that she does not receive a pension as a result of this (VO new policy). I understand that many teachers cannot come back due to this fact. This includes Gym teachers.

The schools found finally a Chemical teacher, but that teacher resigned as he/she could not handle the pressure. The problem is that there is only one Chemical Teacher qualified in Hungary this year.

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