At the inauguration ceremony of the Apollo Tyres factory in Gyöngyöshalász on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Hungary’s goal is to remain Central Europe’s engine of production, with the Indian tyre company being one of the cylinders in this engine.

The Prime Minister described the Gyöngyöshalász project as one of the world’s most modern investments, to the highest standards, “and we may be equally proud of both its spirit and its quality”.

He said that it was not some kind of lottery prize that led to Hungarians gaining the opportunity represented by Apollo Tyres’ choice of location for its first foreign greenfield investment, as a decision such as this is also an expression of faith in the future of the Hungarian people. He also stressed that Apollo Tyres has not just brought capital to Hungary, but the capital of a family-owned business, and thus “they have also brought to us the culture of a family”.

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Praising the company, the Prime Minister said that it is in itself an important foundation stone for Hungary’s unique competitiveness.

According to Mr. Orbán, the Hungarian economy stands a chance of succeeding if in the next few years it manages to develop close cooperation with partners like Apollo Tyres.

The Prime Minister said that “We have always wanted businesses to come to Hungary which do not simply see us as a market, which do not just want to set  up simple assembly facilities here, but which want to bring here genuine production investments which also raise the expertise level of the Hungarian economy”.

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He pointed out that the Gyöngyöshalász project is worth EUR 475 million: the equivalent of HUF 147 billion. The Hungarian government has contributed HUF 16 billion to the project, because it takes the view that “Hungarian taxpayers’ money will generate a fair profit here”.

“It is important for us that you should have a vested interest not only in your own factory’s success, but also in the success of the Hungarian national economy and Hungary”, he said.

The Prime Minister added that the Government’s plan for creation of one million new jobs over a period of ten years is going well, but in order to achieve this target it must continue to give people jobs instead of benefits, and meanwhile it must continuously reduce the taxes on employment.

He also highlighted that the Hungarian economy must change over to the path of dual vocational training.

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He also stood up for the policy of eastward opening, saying that “now we can feel the wind of change on a historic global scale”: a wind that shows Hungary that “whatever is east of us increasingly tends to dominate the world economy”, with India being one of the best examples of this.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also referred to the cruise missiles launched by the United States at Syria in the early hours of Friday morning. In this regard he stressed that the global political developments of the previous night underline the importance for Hungary of security and order. Whether it is the issue of war, the arms race, peace or migration, for Hungary the top priority is always the safety and security of the people living here and the businesses operating here, Mr. Orbán stated, and “in this department, we are not prepared to accept any compromise”.

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The Gyöngyöshalász plant is Apollo Tyres’ second factory in Europe. Construction of the factory started on the 72-hectare site in April 2015, with the company investing EUR 475 million in the project. According to the company’s information leaflet distributed at the event, with the completion of the first phase of construction work the factory will annually make 5.5 million tyres for cars and vans, and some 675,000 tyres for buses and trucks.