Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Hungarian president visits Rotorua (+video)

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Trade, tourism and an up close and personal experience with Rotorua's natural wonders were all part of the agenda for Hungarian President Janos Ader when he visited the city.

Mr Ader visited Rotorua today where he was hosted by Rotorua MP and Trade Minister Todd McClay.

This afternoon the President visited Te Puia in the pouring rain however assembled media did not get the opportunity to meet with or speak to him. One of his aides said it had been an eventful visit after he and his entourage were in Wellington when Monday morning's earthquake struck.

Mr McClay said it was a good opportunity to talk trade with the President of the central European nation that had been part of the European Union since 2004.

"I thought it was a great idea in hosting the President he may want to come and have a look at Rotorua and see the many things we have to offer on behalf of New Zealand.

"I was very proud to be able to show him some of the sites.

"We were talking broadly about our relationship, but particularly about ways we can increase trade and visitor numbers between Hungary and New Zealand.

"As Hungary is a member of the European Union I will be lobbying him about the launch of an FTA [Free Trade Agreement] between New Zealand and the EU for next year."

He said issues of security and migration around Europe would be discussed.

"Largely New Zealand calls for stability and for governments to work together and Hungary has particular insights into that because of their history so I'll be looking forward to talking to the president about his view about what more can be done."

Mr McClay said with Hungary's geothermal connection to Rotorua he was pleased to show him some of Rotorua's geothermal tourist sites.

"New Zealand is a world leader when it comes to the use of geothermal energy for electricity production, we have some of the world's experts here in Rotorua now.

"There are also trade opportunities in sharing expertise and technology, so there are lots of areas we can co-operate with them and I'm pleased to be able to show him the tourism side of geothermal as well."

Mr Ader was also expected to visit a dairy farm in Rotorua before heading south to Huka Falls and Taupo. He leaves the country tomorrow night.

Hungary - fast facts
- Population of about 9.85 million
- Is a parliamentary constitutional republic
- The country's capital and largest city is Budapest
- Has the world's largest geothermal cave system
- Has the second-largest geothermal lake in the world - Lake Heviz
- Hungarian Laszlo Biro invented the first commercially successful modern ballpoint pen

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