What an incredible last day in Budapest! Our last day was filled with happiness and excitement, and it was very complete. We started our day with an early morning visit to Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE). Our speaker started his formal presentation by ringing a bell. In 1990, this bell was gifted by the United States President. In U.S., the bell is used as a sign of economic liberty. The speaker mentioned that they ring this bell only on special occasions. Today was a special day because they rang the bell several times and they even let some of the students try it as well.
The visit to BSE was divided into two parts. The first part was the formal presentation about the international investors. Our speaker focused on how inflation plays such an important role in an economy. In 2017, Hungary exports worth 83.1% of the GDP. Automotives, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and ICT are the main industries which contribute the most in the Hubgarys GDP. In 2018, the GDP increased by 4.8%. He also focused on how Hungary is using different strategies to promote their industries and attract the foregin investors for different sectors. One of their main strategy is to produce more value added services to attract the international investors. After the crisis in 2007, the investors analyzed all the data. The base rate has been stable from last few years but at the end of 2018, it raised and it’s not stable anymore. BSE has several shareholders; one of the biggest shareholder is the Central Bank of Hungary. They have 81.35% of the share.
In the second part of this visit, we were divided into 4 teams. As shown in the following picture, each team was assigned to find out the missing information. In this strategy challenge, we were able to find out the challenges the industry leaders face daily in a safe, no-risk environment.
After the BSE visit, we had free afternoon in which we all decided to go to a very traditional restaurant in Budapest. It was called Getto Gulyas. We were mesmerized by sitting on a table next to window, enjoying our lunch and watching rain poured outside. We all tried various delicious stews and a very traditional desert.
At 7:30 p.m. we left our hotel for the authentic farewell dinner at Urban Betyar Restaurant. We had a traditional goulash soup, grilled chicken breast with saffron flavored rice and salted caramel cake as a desert.After the dinner, we all came back to our hotel and packed because we had our check out at 4:30 a.m. We all had a really good time in Prague and Budapest. It seems like yesterday when we all were worried about starting our trip and this last day, we are absolutely dreading going home. Our trip was for two weeks but it feels like the time went far too quickly. Obviously we would love to come back to Prague and Budapest, but now we can fully appreciate how fortunate we are to have experienced that time abroad.