We had two excellent visits on our first "academic" day. We began the morning with a presentation by Ms. Kamilla Szandrocha, Head of the Department of Investment Promotion at the Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency. We received an overview of the economic development of Hungary over the past half-century, with an emphasis on the economic and business strategies employed by the government to spur economic growth since 1989. Hungary's economic successes are quite impressive, though they are currently facing several challenges. Ms. Szandrocha and her colleague, Mr. Janos Rajki, were exceptional presenters and they handled the many questions from our students very well.
Our second visit was to IBM. Mr. Balazs Horvath, Communications and Customer Relationship Manager, began with a brief history of Hungary that reinforced the presentation we received on Sunday during our city tour. He discussed the history of IBM in Hungary and he noted that IBM remained a private company even during the Communist period. IBM in Hungary, as for the entire company, is transitioning from a manufacturing to a service company. The major product made in Hungary is the DS8000. After the presentation, the group was split into two subgroups for an informative tour of the manufacturing factory and the testing and verification facility.
We returned to Budapest by bus and had a quick lunch at the hotel. The students took a short break and then they were off to class with Professor Crnkovic.