On July 7, 2020, the Hungarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (ChinaCham Hungary) held the first Business Club event after the epidemic period with great success. At the event supported by DLA Piper, Dr. Ernő Duda immunologist, Dr. Ákos Péter Bod economist, and Dr. Péter Györfi-Tóth lawyer presented the global spread, effects and consequences of the coronavirus in health, economic and legal terms.
The Hungarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce organized the first post-pandemic event of the Business Club, which focused primarily on economic, business and cultural issues. At the ChinaCham event renowned experts presented their thoughts in the Experience Center the global medical, economic and legal implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
In his presentation, Prof. Dr. Ernő Duda, Professor Emeritus of the University of Szeged and member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences emphasized that the coronavirus was not created by man, but by nature. In order to successfully control and prevent it, it will be necessary to develop several types of vaccines in the future. For the time being, the future of the virus cannot be predicted beyond any doubt, as only its recent past of just over six months is known, so it is not known whether the virus or epidemic will return.
According to Prof. Dr. Ákos Péter Bod professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the deep decline in the world economy in recent months was caused to a lesser extent by epidemiological constraints, production chain congestion, declining consumption and transformation; at the same time, general uncertainty, which restrained development, investment, and demand, was at least as critical. He added that the post-crisis reorganization will open up opportunities for the Central and Eastern European region, including Hungarian companies, especially if the supply chains already located in China are relocated to countries in the region, potentially creating new production capacities for Hungary as well.
Dr. Péter Györfi-Tóth, partner of DLA Piper Hungary, explained that the coronavirus is spreading in a globalized world, and although each country reacts differently and quickly to the situation, the experience is that the really effective responses – preferably internationally – can be achieved through coordinated, well-organized action, taking into account, of course, local specificities. At the same time, the legal system and regulation can support defense, but only if it allows greater flexibility and patience for those involved in business, and moreover restrains the development of potential disputes and tries to keep the resolution of conflicts in the interests of the parties. Where intervention is needed, a proportionate and well-thought-out deployment of risks, rather than weighing the interests of the parties, may be the effective solution.
About the speakers of the ChinaCham Hungary Business Club:
Dr. Ernő Duda graduated from the Institute of Medical Chemistry (now Semmelweis University) in Budapest. He worked for 42 years at the Institute of Biochemistry of the Szeged Biological Research Center, while conducting research in the United States, Canada, France and Japan. He has been a professor at the University of Szeged for 20 years, first at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunobiology and then at the Institute of Medical Biology. In addition to Szeged, he taught at Semmelweis University, Budapest University of Technology, Eötvös L. University, MiercureaCiuc and TârguMureş.
Dr. Ákos Péter Bod graduated in economics in Budapest in 1975, then worked in a research institute until 1990, and taught at Hungarian and foreign universities, as well as serving as a UN consultant. After the change of regime, he was Minister of Industry and Trade, and between 1991 and 1994 he was president of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank. From 1995 to 1997, he served on the Board of Governors of the EBRD in London, and later returned to his teaching career. He is the author of several professional books and articles, and regularly publishes on economic policy issues. He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Vice President of the Hungarian Economic Society.
Dr. Péter Györfi-Tóth has been a partner of DLA Piper Hungary since 2000 and the head of DLA Piper’s financing, banking and project development group in Budapest and Central and Eastern Europe. His primary area of expertise is finance and infrastructure development, and he has extensive experience in advising on local and cross-border legal transactions. In addition to his legal profession, he is a lecturer at the Department of Civil Law of ELTEÁJK, as well as a judge at the Permanent Court of Arbitration for Money and Capital Markets.