The Government concluded a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Knorr-Bremse Hungary, a leading manufacturer of rail and road vehicle braking systems, which was signed by Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga and Knorr-Bremse AG Chairman Michael Buscher at the company’s Budapest headquarters.
Following the signing of the Agreement, the new test facility of Knorr-Bremse was opened, in which braking systems are examined at a temperature of -75 degrees Celsius.
Prior to the signing of the document, Mihály Varga pointed out that Knorr-Bremse has long-term plans in Hungary, proven by the almost 100-year history of the company and those large-scale investment projects which Knorr-Bremse has implemented over the past years despite the crisis.
Michael Buscher emphasised that the company has been the Government’s partner in industrial development, because this is a crucial field for the Hungarian economy. The signing of the Agreement is a key milestone for Knorr-Bremse, an enterprise which has been present in Hungary for almost a century.
Mihály Varga pointed out that Knorr-Bremse has been active in the country since the 1920s and it has become a decisive factor within the vehicle manufacturing sector.
As the Minister stressed the Government decided in 2012 to elevate partnership to a higher level with large enterprises active in Hungary, and results have thus far fulfilled expectations. Strategic partners have implemented investment projects totalling HUF 650bn over the past years, steadily expanding in Hungary and forging close relations with Hungarian suppliers, he said and expressed hope that investment, cooperation in the field of research, innovation and education as well as a business-friendly regulatory environment will result in accelerating economic growth.
Mihály Varga added that the development of the Knorr-Bremse Corporation has been fitting well with the Government’s economic policy objectives. Nowadays, he continued, we are witnessing the change of an era also in the field of industrial technologies, and the international market competition has never been this fierce and it has never impacted as many countries as it does today. This competition will create winners and losers, and it is important for Hungary to emerge triumphantly in the end and become a strong country the people of which can earn a living through work, the Minister stressed.
The Minister also spoke about the deal brokered with Russian on the financing of the two new blocks of the Paks power plant.
Mihály Varga stated that German enterprises have been significantly contributing to Hungarian economic growth, especially those which have expanded output capacity even during the crisis years. The objective of the coming years is to keep up this trend, he stressed. Increasing the number of Hungarian suppliers has been a policy pursued not only the Government but Knorr-Bremse as well.
Germany is Hungary’s number one economic partner, the Minister emphasised. Hungarian exports to Germany in 2012 and in the initial ten months of 2013 were up by 1.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. Naturally, Hungary has been also seeking to discover new markets, especially in the east, for Hungarian exporters.
Michael Buscher emphasised that while most enterprises froze investment at the onset of the crisis, Knorr-Bremse continued the development of its local facilities. In 2010, the company opened a new production site for the rail division in Budapest and in the same year the decision was made for the construction of a new factory in Kecskemét. Over the past five years, the corporation has invested more than EUR 100 million in Hungary, he said.
R&D is a crucial factor of success within the car industry and Knorr-Bremse spends EUR 250 million a year on it. The company has development centres also in Budapest, which employ more than 100 development engineers, some of whom design control software and others are responsible for the design of mechatronic components, Michael Buscher added. He also stressed that the company intends to bring Hungarian suppliers into the production chain, who may supply not only the local factories but entire Europe with high-quality components.
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