“39 enterprises are realising 16.5 billion forints (EUR 46.45 million) in investment in Somogy County with the help of 8 billion forints (EUR 22.52 million) in state funding, thanks to which they are protecting 6600 workplaces”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday in Csurgó, at a ceremony to present Topesa Ltd. with its funding certificate within the framework of the competitiveness-increasing funding program.

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted that economic protection is the new phase of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. “We will also win this phase; we will protect jobs that have been endangered and will in fact be creating more new workplaces than we have lost”, he stated. The Minister praised Hungarian enterprises that are deciding on investment and development projects despite the difficult conditions, while international news is reporting on bankruptcies and redundancies. “The Hungarian economy is successful thanks to the work of the Hungarian people, and this requires workplaces”, he pointed out. “This is also what pulled Hungary out of a difficult position ten years ago, not international loans that lead to vulnerability”, the Minister said, adding that similarly to previous crisis management efforts, the government does not wish to directly help the unemployed, but to assist enterprises that create jobs.

“The vitality of the Hungarian economy is indicated by the fact that 806 enterprises have submitted applications and have been awarded 169 billion forints (EUR 475.7 million) in state funding, thanks to which 377 billion forints (EUR 1.06 billion) in investment is being realised throughout the country”, the Minister stated. “The weight of the Hungarian food industry is shown by the fact that 122 of the 806 winning applicants are from this sector of the economy, which provides jobs for 143 thousand people, and which increased its production value by 15 percent during the first four months of this year compared to the similar period last year”, he added. “Hats off to them for also having continuously provided for the country’s food supply without disruption during these past, difficult months”, the Minister said.

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that the rate of unemployment in Somogy County has fallen by a third compared to its 16 percent level ten years ago, while the rate of employment has increased from 40 to 50 percent. With relation to Topesa Limited, the Minister said the Hungarian-owned pork processing company, which as one of the Spar supermarket chain’s suppliers conforms to the most stringent international standards, purchases exclusively Hungarian pigs from Hungarian farmers. Thanks to its planned investment of 574 million forints (EUR 1.62 million),  towards which it is receiving 287 million forints (EUR 807 thousand) in state funding, the company will be constructing a new cold storage unit and introducing new slaughterhouse technology, as well as increasing its live animal capacity and improving the plant’s energy efficiency. “As a result, the company will be protecting 76 workplaces, and increasing its production capacity by 25 percent”, Mr. Szijjártó told the press.

Owner and Managing Director of Topesa Ltd. László Somogyi told Hungarian news agency MTI that the slaughterhouse, which has been owned by the company since 2016, realised 5.4 billion forints (EUR 15.2 million) in turnover in 2018 and 6.1 billion (EUR 17.17 million) last year. The Spar supermarket chain, which purchases half of its products, and is one of very few multinational supermarket chains that sells Hungarian pork, contributes to the company’s stability, he stated. Member of Parliament László Szászfalvi (KDNP) spoke about the fact that there were two and a half times as many applications for funding during the current EU programming period and three times as much funding awarded in the region, than during the last seven-year multiannual financial framework.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)