Calmness, experience and caution are needed in the current period, “not only to maintain peace and security” but also for future planning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Saturday.
Orbán told an event opening the ZalaZONE test track in western Hungary that good economic policy was needed to open opportunities for further similar investments, even at times when Hungary experiences difficult periods.
“If such large-scale developments are not implemented at difficult times, then even when the good times come, the opportunity to utilise them will not be prepared,” he said.
Hungary “has fought its way out” of the crisis it found itself in in 2010,
Orbán said. For a small country to preserve its competitiveness, it is key to recognise new technologies that your give it an edge over its competitors, he said.
Therefore, the government decided to plough 30-40 billion forints (EUR 80-100bn) into the project, he said. “This being Hungary, we are now at 60 billion,” he added.
Vehicle manufacturing has an “immense” role in the development of Hungarian industry,
he said. The sector now employs 150,000 people, up from 80,000 in 2010, he said.
The government’s role in supporting investments is to bolster companies rather than making direct profit, he said. Long-term economic advantages go hand in hand with technological advancement, he said.
At the event, László Palkovics, the innovation and technology minister, said that the total value of the twinned project of German Rheinmetall’s military vehicle production plant and the ZalaZONE test track has exceeded 100 billion forints.
The production of Lynx armoured fighting vehicles is scheduled to begin in the 30,000sqm plant in early 2023,
he told MTI.
In an adjoining facility next to the vehicle production plant a highly modern centre for research and development, which is unique in Europe, has been built with a 45 billion forint investment.