“French automotive industry company Sicta Ltd is expanding its existing plant in Felsőzsolca with an investment of 3.4 billion forints (EUR 11M), towards which the Hungarian Government is providing 437 million forints in funding, which is 13 percent of the total cost of the project”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced in Budapest on Wednesday.

“The investment will create 115 new jobs”, he highlighted.

The Minister stressed that Sicta is one of the worlds leading manufacturers of automotive industry parts, and is market leader in Europe and in the top five in the world in the production of parts for turbochargers. “Its clients include Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Porsche, and the parts manufactured at the company’s plant in Felsőzsolca are installed in these cars, amongst others”, he said.

DownloadPhoto: Zsolt Burger/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

‘The investment further reinforces Hungarian-French economic relations; France is the fifth most significant investor in Hungary, and is Hungary’s fourth most important trade partner. Trade flow between the two countries exceeded 8.5 billion euros last year, and increased by a further 4.3 percent during the first four months of this year”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that the global competition for production capacities that has existed so far is transforming, and is now aimed at high added value development and innovation capacities. “Hungary has also entered the increasingly tough global economic competition”, Mr. Szijjártó said, highlighting the fact that Hungary has the lowest rates of corporation and personal income tax in Europe, the burdens on work will continue to decrease in the upcoming period, the expansion of the dual training system will enable the country to face the challenges that arise on the job market, and that the Government is operating one of the widest-scale budgetary funding systems in the interests of promoting investment.

“The automotive industry is playing a leading role in the transition to the new global economic era”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

DownloadPhoto: Zsolt Burger/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Minister pointed out that the automotive industry generated a production value of almost 8000 billion forints (EUR 26.2bn) last year, breaking all previous records and increasing by a further 3 percent during the first five months of this year reaching 3400 billion forints by the end of May.

“The Hungarian automotive industry provides 29.4 percent of total industrial production, provides more than 160 thousand people with employment, and Hungary exports 92.3 percent of the automotive industry production value manufactured here, which indicates the international competitiveness of the Hungarian automotive industry”, he explained.

Mr. Szijjártó said it was a major acknowledgement that Sicta had chosen Hungary for the destination of its latest investment.

CEO of Sicta Limited André d'Alés said the Sicta Group is one of the world’s leading automotive industry suppliers within the field of turbochargers, and is present in France, Hungary, Bulgaria and China.

“The French family business established its plant at the Felsőzsolca industrial park ten years ago, in which it has invested 30 million euros to ate, primarily out of its own resources. Since then, the factory has become one of the Group’s strategic bases”, he said.

“Our plant in Felsőzsolca employs the most people and also has the largest production area. We began with 40 staff enterprise and now employ 380 people from 84 settlements in the area. During the past ten years we have included some 200 local suppliers in our activities”, Mr. d'Alés indicated.

DownloadPhoto: Zsolt Burger/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

“The Group chose Hungary because of its investor-friendly politics and tax environment, cooperative and supportive central and local government, and because the Hungarian workforce has a high level of training and expertise, in addition to which the close proximity of Miskolc University represented an added advantage when choosing Felsőzsolca, and we are indeed cooperating with the university within the framework of dual training courses”, he highlighted.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)