Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mac Opens Office in Hungary

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mac Opens Office in Hungary

Article excerpt

McDonnell Douglas Corp. made its presence in Hungary official Tuesday with the opening of an office in downtown Budapest. Now all the company needs to do is sell some planes.

It set up McDonnell Douglas Aerospace-Hungary to support its effort to sell 30 F/A-18 Hornets to the former Soviet-bloc country.

Hungary is interested in modernizing its air force and is considering jets from several American and European aerospace companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp. and the French company Dassault S.A. A final decision is likely this summer. A representative of the Hungarian Ministry of Industry and Trade, who asked not to be identified, said there appears to be no front-runner among the aerospace companies vying for Hungary's business. However, Lockheed Martin has been more aggressive than the other companies in pushing its products, the representative said. McDonnell is proposing an industrial participation program that would help Hungary offset the cost of the planes. The offset program works like this: McDonnell would assist a wide variety of Hungarian industries, stimulate investments in these industries and help them improve exports. These efforts would stimulate the country's economy enough to offset the cost of the new fighter jets. Since signing a protocol agreement with the Hungarian government in December, McDonnell has been surveying Hungarian companies for participation in the program. "This project is extremely important to our company," said Bud Mitchell, vice president of F/A-18 international programs and new business development. "We believe the opening of our office should be viewed as a further committment." Charles Gyenes, a native Hungarian, will be the managing director of the new office, located on the sixth floor of Budapest's International Trade Center. Gyenes was involved in McDonnell's 1987 sale of 22 helicopters to Hungary and developed the industrial participation program that offset the total value of that purchase. …

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