“2015 was also a record year with regard to foreign investment; the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) has never successfully negotiated as many investments as it did last year”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Budapest at a press conference assessing the HIPA’s annual performance.

In 2015 the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency successfully negotiated 67 investment projects, 21 per cent more than in the previous year; the total of 67 projects account for a foreign investment volume of EUR 1.4 billion, he added.

The Agency also broke previous records with regard to the creation of new jobs, with the 67 investment projects successfully negotiated last year creating 12,995 new workplaces, the Minister continued, stressing that HIPA was the most successful investment agency in the Central European region.

Mr. Szijjártó spoke about the fact that there is tough competition for positions within the global economy and the performance of the open Hungarian economy is fundamentally determined by the level of foreign trade, exports and foreign investment.

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The Minister reminded the press that the Government of Hungary has amongst others set the objectives to have the highest per capita level of foreign investment in Central Europe, as well as the highest export-to-GDP and industry-to-GDP ratio in Europe.

Hungary’s per capita FDI index currently stands at EUR 8,263, which means that we have the second highest per capita influx of foreign capital in Central Europe after the Czech Republic. At the end of 2014, the export-to-GDP ratio in Hungary stood at 98.3 per cent, and had increased to 103.8 per cent by the end of the third quarter of 2015. In terms of the industry-to-GDP ratio, Hungary moved up from fourth to third place within the European Union, with the index increasing from 26.8 per cent to 27.5 per cent, the Minister stated.

Mr. Szijjártó also mentioned that there is global competition within the world economy between regional economic integrations, and Europe has fallen behind in the race. As an example he mentioned the Pacific Oceanic Partnership organised by the US; and organisation in which 40 per cent of the world economy and 30 per cent of world trade is represented. The fact that Europe finds itself increasingly distanced from the previously considered Lisbon-Vladivostok economic area even at a conceptual level is leading to a decrease in Europe’s competitiveness, he noted.

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The Minister also spoke about the fact that the Government is reinforcing its strategic partnership programme. The Government has so far concluded strategic partnership agreements with 65 international companies operating in Hungary, who employ a total of 200,581 people, and created 14,446 new jobs since signing the agreement. The strategic partners involved have invested a total of HUG 10,000 billion Hungary, 1,600 billion of which were invested following the signing of the strategic partnership agreements. The share of Hungarian suppliers has also increased to almost 60 per cent (59.5%) at these partners, the Minister explained.

President of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency Róbert Ésik said that the largest ratio of new jobs created as a result of the projects negotiated in 2015 – 31 per cent – are being created by German enterprises.

With relation to the sectoral distribution of new jobs, the automotive industry continues to lead the pack with 33 per cent, followed by shared service centres (SSC) at 17 per cent and the food industry with a share of 12 per cent; the three most important sectors provide some 62 per cent of the new workplaces being created in Hungary, he explained.

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The HIPA is currently managing 169 investment projects that are awaiting decision. If these projects are realised according to the current parameters, they will lead to the creation of 27,000 new jobs and foreign investment volume of EUR 4.6 billion, Mr. Ésik announced.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)