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FM Szijjártó: International companies do not see Hungary as an ‘assembly plant’

International companies no longer see Hungary as an assembly plant, as some would like to portray it.

MTI reported that Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó attended a ceremony in Debrecen to mark the 20th anniversary of the presence of National Instruments, the US market leader in measurement and control automation. At the event, the minister said that multinational companies are setting up a series of research and development units with high added value in the country. 

Speaking about COVID-19, Szijjártó said that last year 114 million jobs were lost globally, investment fell by 42 percent, and global trade volume declined by 5 percent. In contrast, Hungary set records for employment, quarterly economic growth, and investment.

“This was only possible because the biggest companies operating here trusted us, remained loyal to Hungary and, taking advantage of one of the best investment environments in Europe, honored the agreements they had made with us and stayed here, even continuously developing their capacities,” he stressed.

“Without good cooperation with large international companies, Hungary would not have been able to would not have emerged victorious from the extraordinary economic situation of the past one and a half years,” he said.

Szijjártó pointed out that American companies are the second-largest investor community in Hungary, with 10 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming from the United States. Some 1,700 US-owned companies employ more than 100,000 Hungarians.

Bilateral trade flows rose by 24 percent in the first eight months of this year, and the United States is Hungary’s number one export market outside the European Union, he said, adding that although Chinese companies invested the most in Hungary in 2020, the most jobs were created by US investors.

Finally, he said that Hungary’s electronics manufacturing sector grew 9.5 percent last year and is up 26 percent so far this year.

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