3 Jan

“Last year, Hungary set new foreign trade records. Last year was the most successful year of all time from the perspective of investment promotion; never before have so many and such high value investments been made in Hungary”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference in Budapest on January 3 2019.

“Last year, 98 major investments were made in Hungary via the investment promotion system; the value of these investments totalled 1380 billion forints (EUR 4.28bn) and the Hungarian Government provided 135 billion forints (EUR 419 million) in non-returnable cash funding towards these investment projects”, the Minister highlighted.

“17,024 new workplaces were created in the country within the framework of these investments, and companies paid an average monthly wage of 425,700 forints with relation to these new workplaces, which is 40 percent higher than the average salary in 2017”, Mr. Szijjártó told the press.

“These major investments contributed to enabling Hungary to achieve the third lowest rate of unemployment in the European Union”, he pointed out.

“The investments made in Hungary last year are also extremely favourable in view of the fact that they represent a much higher added value and higher level of technology than previous investments, and include a much higher research and development content, and accordingly the Hungarian economy has not only taken a quantitative step forward, but a qualitative one”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade explained.

“The most investment in Hungary arrived from Germany; 28 out of the 98 major investments were realised by German enterprises at a total value of 680 billion forints (EUR 2.1bn). The German investors were followed by companies from the Unites States and by Hungarian companies”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted. “American and Hungarian enterprises both realised 15 major new investments each, and the value of the major investments realised by Hungarian companies exceeded 100 billion forints (EUR 310 million)”, he added.

The Minister told the press that the largest number of investments had been made in the automotive sector with 36 out of the 98 major investments being realised within this field, thanks to which a total of 851 billion forints (EUR 2.64bn) in investments were injected into the automotive industry. The electronics sector and the business service sector, which is transferring fundamental financial functions to Hungary, came in second with 10 major investments each.

“The Hungarian economy is experiencing a period of dimensional change in which the most important criterion is no longer the number of new jobs, but in which the technology embodied by them and research & development are at the focus of attention” he said. In the Minister’s opinion, this also means that the new forms of funding introduced within the field of investment promotion are working well.

Mr. Szijjártó told the press that last year the state provided funding for 7 technologically intensive major investments and 10 research & development investments.

“Within the field of investment promotion, based on an acknowledged professional ranking Hungary is now among the world’s 10 best investment destinations”, he highlighted.

The Minister noted that as a result of last year’s investments, with the exception of Germany, Hungary is the only country in Europe in which all three leading German car manufacturers have their own production units; China is the only other county in the world that can boast a similar achievement. “In addition, Jaguar, Nissan and Ford all operate service centres in Hungary”, he stated.

“The success of the Hungarian Government’s Eastern Opening policy is indicated by the fact that 17 major investments from South Korea, India, Japan and China were realised in Hungary last year”, he pointed out.

Mr. Szijjártó indicated that 71,800 new workplaces have been created in the country via the investment promotion system since 2014, when foreign trade and foreign affairs policy were “unified”.

The Minister highlighted the fact that the value of Hungarian exports has increased every year since 2014. Based on data for the first ten months of last year, Hungarian exports are expected to have exceeded 100 billion euros again last year, with an increase in exports of 7.6 percent realised until the end of October 2018.

“Behind these figures are the performance of Hungarian people and Hungarian families”, the Minister pointed out, adding that this indicates that the products manufactured by Hungarians are also competitive internationally.

(MTI)

Phot: MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry