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Péter Szíjjártó: Hungarian small enterprises have made us no longer “the shame of Europe”

Domestic companies are the soul of the Hungarian economy and stable suppliers of multinational companies.

“The Hungarian economy is small but extremely open, so big multinationals play a big role in shaping its performance, yet it is Hungarian companies that are at the heart of it,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the opening ceremony of Kovács Ltd.’s new plant in Mezőkövesd.

Szíjjártó emphasized that a significant development in recent years has been that several domestic companies have become large, stable suppliers to multinational companies. 

Hungarian family-owned businesses have withstood the test of time and competition, delivering world-class quality and quantity, the Minister highlighted. Szijjártó also noted that these companies’ proven performance and development is what will enable the Hungarian economy to maintain its current rate of growth, 2 percent above the EU average.  

Kovács Ltd. is one of the businesses exemplifying this success. With HUF 9.5 billion worth of investment, HUF 1.1 billion of which will come from government support, the company has built a new forging plant, creating jobs for at least 60 blacksmiths. This is a breakthrough for the industry, as the facility uses the latest technologies and is expected to bear a positive impact on the economy as a whole as well.

The new Kovacs facility features the latest, Swiss machines, only five or six of which are in use across Europe – there are no others in the Central European region. This new high-tech machinery is expected to boost the company’s output from 2 million to 25 million units. The FM made sure to note that Kovács Ltd. also plays a vital role in vocational training in the area. 

Szíjjártó went on to point out that the Hungarian economy was “the shame of Europe” in 2010. But today, the country has become one of Europe’s fastest growing economies, with a GDP growth rate above 5 percent. 

Within the same period, Hungary has gone from 12 percent unemployment to full employment.

Szíjjártó said that Hungary’s key to success lies in the reindustrialization of the country. Building on Hungary’s industrial traditions and the diligence of its workers, the government succeeded in implementing an economic strategy that provided employment to a total of 800 thousand people. The industrial sector alone has generated a production value of HUF 32,000 billion in 2018, one and a half times more than in 2010.

One sector in particular that has stood out is car manufacturing, which employs 176,000 people and whose performance increased 13 percent in the latest period from January to the end of July.

At the opening of the Kovacs facility, the mayor of Mezőkövesd, Fekete Zoltán (Fidesz-KDNP), also applauded local businesses for their constant stream of new developments that have steadily increased the city’s business tax revenues since 2015.

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