Government of the Republic of Hungary

02/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/13/2020 13:42

Hungary is open to East-West cooperation

'Based on last year's figures, eastern and western investors both have confidence in the Hungarian economy, and accordingly Hungary remains open to domestic cooperation between East and West', Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Wednesday in Budapest at the Investor of the Year 2019 Award gala.

The Minister explained the fact that last year the total value of investments exceeded the 2018 record by some 350 billion forints (EUR 1 billion) with the balanced nature of the Hungarian economy and its rapid adaptation. 'Investment policy must be adjusted to the global economic environment, and accordingly, following job creation the government has now placed technological intensity at the forefront', he added. According to Mr. Szijjártó, Hungary has also recognised the importance of Asian capital, and last year the investment results also clearly confirmed the government's Eastern Opening policy. '48 percent of the total investment value for 2019 came from South Korea, and the ratio of capital arriving from East Asia reached 60 percent', he emphasised. 'The change is showing a similar direction at a global level in view of the fact that while in 2007 over eighty percent of total global investment was derived from western countries, by 2018 sixty percent was coming from eastern states', the Minister said.

Mr. Szijjártó spoke with praise with relation to the competitiveness of the investments being made in Hungary. 'It is also thanks to this that last year Hungarian exports exceeded 100 billion euros for the third year running', he stated. He also explained the fact that the average monthly salary paid at the workplaces created by investments has increased from 300 thousand forints to 450 thousand forints over the space of two years with improving efficiency and the increasing quality of technology, and research & development. The Minister said it was exemplary that the performance of the Hungarian economy has increased parallel to an marked reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

'It is action, not hysterics, that count with relation to protecting the environment, and the country has proven that air and water can be protected without destroying competitiveness', he declared. The Minister said he is also not worried about the effects of the international automotive industry crisis. 'The sector may represent a significant proportion of domestic industry, but Hungary has prepared for the new automotive industry era, and last year its production value was once again higher than ever before', he added.

The CEO of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) said 2019 had been an eventful and successful year, highlighting the fact that the value of investments exceeded the 2018 level by 24 percent. Róbert Ésik told reporters that Hungary will again be focusing on quality this year with relation to investment funding. 'In 2020, new production capacities will be determined by productivity, while services will be determined by cooperation with rural cities with universities', he added. According to the HIPA chief executive, this year at least 2500 small and medium-sized enterprises must be linked to new investors, and the performance of Hungarian distributors could be improved by major corporations that play the role of integrator.

At the event, 2019 investments were awarded in eight categories. The award for the largest greenfield investment project of the year was presented to Toray Industries Hungary Limited. The Japanese company manufactures separator films for lithium batteries at its plant in Nyergesújfalu, creating 188 new workplaces with an investment of 127 billion forints (EUR 374 million). The award for the highest volume investment went to Samsung SDI Hungary Zrt. The South Korean corporation is establishing a battery plant in Göd with an investment of 390 billion forints (EUR 1.15 billion), creating 1200 new workplaces. The award for largest job-creating investment of 2019 was presented to SK Battery Manufacturing Limited, another South Korean company, whose investment of 239 billion forints (EUR 704 million) is creating a thousand new job opportunities at its battery plant in Komárom.

Sanofi Business Services Budapest Center won the award in the excellence centre category. The investment by the Paris-based pharmaceutical industry group will be creating 350 new jobs by 2022. Tesco Business Services and Technology Zrt. received the award for the best service centre investment. The Budapest unit of the British-based company will provide jobs for 800 people. The award for the research & development investment project of the year went to German company ThyssenKrupp AG, which has transferred its global development centre to Budapest and will be hiring one hundred new employees. The award for the best industrial park of 2019 was presented to the Eastern Industrial Park in Kaposvár, while the Simon Plastics Processing Company was voted the Hungarian supplier of the year.