By Curt Yeomans
A little over 100 Clayton State University business students gathered at the school's Harry S. Downs Continuing Education Center on Thursday evening, and got a lesson in Hungarian economics.
The students were originally scheduled to hear from Hungary's ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Bela Szombati, but his flight from Washington D.C., was canceled earlier in the day, because of bad weather in the nation's capital.
So, the pupils, instead, heard from Geza Vass, the director general of the Department of Bilateral Relations for Hungary's Ministry for National Development and Economy.
The students in the audience were part of a global marketing class at Clayton State.
"The flights are all delayed out of Washing D.C., because of the snow they're having up there," said Clayton State Director of International Programs John Parkerson, Jr. "The earliest he could have gotten here was 9:30 p.m."
The Hungarian visit to Clayton State was tied to a bond between the country and the school. Parkerson is an honorary Hungarian consulate for the south-metro Atlanta area. Parkerson said he planned to have Hungary's new ambassador to the U.S., speak at Clayton State and the Georgia Institute of Technology, as part of the ambassador's first trip to Atlanta.
Szombati was made Hungary's ambassador to the U.S. last October, Parkerson said.
"Hungary has a relatively small business presence in Atlanta, and there is a growing number of Georgia businesses that are moving to Hungary to do business, so I wanted to show the ambassador what Atlanta has to offer," Parkerson said.
Parkerson said the list of Georgia-based businesses that have a presence in Hungary include Intercontinental Hotels, the Coca-Cola Company, UPS, and Delta Air Lines.
During his presentation, Vass pointed out that some of Hungary's leading industries are: automotive; medicine; logistics and renewable energy. He also told the students that Hungary's top exports, and imports, are machinery, and manufactured goods.
"It is very important that Hungary produces products that are not only for the Hungarian market, but for the European market, and the global market as well," Vass said.