Thanks to “strategically planned development” Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, has become “the number one investment destination not only in Hungary but in central Europe, too”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday.
Speaking at the inauguration of a new service centre for electronics producer National Instruments Hungary, Szijjártó said that the government had subsidised its construction with a grant of 2.5 billion forints (EUR 7.5m).
Construction of the new facility cost a total 5.5 billion forints and has created 216 new jobs.
Szijjártó said that the Hungarian economy has benefitted from a total 1,481 billion forints in FDI since the beginning of the year, noting that both investments and exports reached a record high in 2019. He said new technologies have intensified competition in the global economy but Hungary was “doing well” in that respect.
Concerning the Hungarian government’s endeavours to shift the economy’s focus from production to innovation and development, Szijjártó said that those efforts required significant measures. For example, he said that job creation is no longer the sole criterion for receiving central subsidies. Moreover, the government has reduced social contributions paid by businesses and introduced tax benefits to promote research and development.
Szijjártó noted the average gross monthly wage linked to jobs created by investments in Hungary has risen to 460,000 forints from 304,000 forints over the past 18 months.
The higher wage is a reflection of a higher number of high-tech, value-added jobs, he added.
This is also proven by NI’s 18-year history in Debrecen, he said. The US-based company has continually increased production at its eastern Hungarian base, upgrading its production technology. It has now inaugurated a department specialising in IT, research and technological development, Szijjártó added.
Output of Hungary’s electronics sector grew by 11 percent last year to 5,100 billion forints, the minister said, adding that the sector’s output rose by a further 10 percent in the first nine months of 2019. The sector employs 145,000 people and has an export rate of 93.4 percent he said.
The 1,700 US-based companies doing business in Hungary employ around 105,000 people, Szijjártó noted.