“Airbus Helicopters will be establishing a helicopter parts plant in Hungary; the facility, which will be completed by 2021, will create hundreds of new jobs thank to the cooperation between the Hungarian Government and the company”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference in Budapest on Monday.

The Minister highlighted the fact that two cities in Eastern Hungary are vying to be the concrete location for the investment, and the related decision will be made next week, following which the agreement on government funding will also be finalised. The Government is providing non-returnable funding to Airbus towards the project, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed that Hungary won the investment amidst stiff regional competition. Airbus, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil and military aeroplanes and helicopters and the largest air and defence industry company in Europe, is placing its trust in the expertise and diligence of Hungarians. Airbus’s annual turnover exceeds 67 billion euros and the company employs some 130 thousand people worldwide.

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The Minister told the press that in addition to the establishment of the plant, cooperation between the two parties also includes the procurement of 36 new helicopters for the Hungarian Defence Force, which greatly contributes to achieving Hungary’s undertaking towards NATO, in accordance with the Wales Summit Declaration, to increase its defence spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2020. The agreements concluded with Airbus also greatly contribute to enabling the ratio of defence spending within the national budget to exceed 20 percent.

The agreement includes the fact that the Hungarian Defence Force will be purchasing troop transport helicopters from the company, in addition to which the parties will be jointly realising an education and training programme, he added.

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Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that Airbus cannot be considered a new investor in view of the fact that Airbus has been operating an office that employs 40 engineers and performs engineering services in Budapest since 2014.

The Minister highlighted the fact that thanks to the cooperation, relations with both France and Germany will improve further, and the investment by Airbus is proof of a true European commitment, he added.

He also spoke about the fact that several aeroplane industry investments have been made in Hungary recently, thanks to which the production value of the air vehicle manufacturing sector in Hungary has increased by 144 percent.

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CEO of Airbus Helicopters Bruno Even said the signing of the memorandum of understanding represents the beginning of a new chapter in cooperation between Airbus and Hungary. Parts production is a precision task in which Airbus is relying on Hungarian professional expertise. In two years’ time, there will be Hungarian parts in one out of every hundred helicopters that Airbus manufactures, he added.

The CEO told the press that the project is being realised thanks to the fact that Hungary is committed within the field of innovation and possesses a high level of technical knowledge. The partnership is not restricted to helicopters, but could also open the doors to other potential projects in future, he added.

Mr. Even highlighted the fact that via the partnership agreement Airbus would like to play a key role in facilitating Hungary’s national independence within the field of air transport. Accordingly, the company is committed to placing Hungary at the centre of its industrial strategy.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)