Bangladesh maintains friendly relations with Hungary since independence. Hungary supported the cause of Bangladesh during the war of liberation and was one of the first countries to accord recognition. The diplomatic relations were established as early as 29 January 1972. As a gesture of cordial and friendly relations, Hungary established her resident Mission in Dhaka in 1973. It existed until the year 1997.
The relations which could be further strengthened in the field of economy, technology and culture did not materialize after mid 80’s mainly due to the end of cold war and also less exchangeof high level political visits.
There have been very few interactions between the two countries both at the political and official levels. In early 1970s, the First Foreign Minister and the Minister of Commerce of Bangladesh visited Hungary. In late 1990s the Hungarian Deputy Speaker visited Bangladesh. Few Ministers including Foreign Minister visited Hungary during this period.
A number of agreements have been signed with Hungary and they are: Trade Agreement (1972), Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement (1973), Economic Cooperation Agreement (1975) and Cultural and Scientific Cooperation Agreement (1982). However, these agreements have now been inoperative and need to be reactivated. Moreover, signing of an Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of investments between Bangladesh and Hungary is lying with the Hungarian side.
The current bilateral trade between the two countries is US $16 million approximately and the trade is steadily growing. Bangladesh exports to Hungary are ready-made garments, agricultural products, jute goods and finished/crust leather. Bangladesh explored possibility of exporting ceramics, handicrafts etc. by including them in the agreement. Imports from Hungary to Bangladesh include pharmaceuticals, hospital equipment, railway spares.
According to statistics of Board of Investment as of February 2010, a total US$ 4.796 million worth of investment from Hungary in different sectors has been registered. Of this investment, US$ 1.406 million is in joint venture, while US$3.390 million in FDI.
An Agreement on Technical and Scientific Cooperation was signed in Dhaka on 6th December 1973. Under this agreement, Bangladesh has still been sending students to Hungary. Bangladesh students are also welcome on self-financing basis to study in Hungary either in Hungarian language or English.
Under the Agreement on Cultural and Scientific Cooperation Agreement (1982), not many exchanges of cultural troupes took place in recent years. However, children from Hungary participated in a big way in the 5th International Children Art Biennale Bangladesh 2009 organized by Bangladesh Shishu Academy.