Speaking at the Investor of the Year Gala 2019, Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that last year’s data shows that both Eastern and Western investors have confidence in the Hungarian economy. He noted that the value of investments for 2019 exceeded the 2018 peak by almost HUF 350 billion and Hungarian exports exceeded EUR 100 billion for the third year.
Last year also saw a massive rise in investment capital from Asian countries, with 48 percent of 2019 investments coming from South Korea and 60 percent in total from the Far East. This further confirms Hungary’s successful opening to the East, and the minister pointed out that this trend is seen when looking at global numbers as well: 80 percent of global investments in 2007 came from Western countries, while in 2018 nearly 60 percent came from the East.
Szijjártó confirmed that Hungary’s competitiveness is intact, and in terms of future job creation, the focus for investment policy will be on technology. In under two years the average salary for jobs created via such investments increased from HUF 300,000 to over HUF 450,000 due to rising levels of efficiency, technology, and research and development.
The minister also emphasized Hungary’s reduction in carbon dioxide emissions alongside the country’s positive economic performance, stating that it has proven that air and water can be protected without destroying competitiveness.
On the topic of the international crisis in the automotive industry, Szijjártó expressed no concerns. The CEO of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) said that investments for 2019 were 24 percent higher than in 2018, and going forward, at least 2,500 domestic small and medium-sized enterprises, acting as suppliers, need to be connected to new investors this year.
At the gala, 2019 investments were also rewarded in eight categories. Japanese Toray Industries Hungary Kft. won for the largest greenfield investment. South Korean Samsung SDI Magyarország Zrt. won for the largest investment – HUF 390 billion for a battery factory in Göd, delivering 1,200 new jobs. SK Battery Manufacturing Ltd. was also recognized for a HUF 239 billion investment that will create 1,000 new jobs at the battery factory in Komárom. Other companies recognized included France’s Sanofi (350 jobs), UK’s Tesco (800 jobs), and Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG (100 jobs).