Budapest Citi Service Centre is to invest over HUF 3 billion, thereby creating 250 new jobs, with a support of HUF 250 million from the Hungarian Government, announced Péter Szijjártó, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade at a press conference on Wednesday.

He emphasized that the service centres established in Hungary give further boost to the Hungarian economy. The Government aims at attracting as much innovation, research and service capacity of high added value to Hungary as possible, he added.

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Mr Szijjártó explained that currently there are 91 service centres in Hungary, employing a total of 34,000 people. Hungary is going to the direction of becoming the centre of service centres, he noted. In view of the pending projects, service centres may create as much as 5,000 new jobs in the future, he added. The state secretary pointed out that service centres have a guaranteed labour supply due to the agreement Citi concluded on an education program with the Corvinus University of Budapest; Citi intends to extend this cooperation to the Budapest University of Technology and the Eötvös Lóránd University.

The trainings to be launched within the framework of the program will fill a gap whereby they will specifically focus on training employees for service centres, thus contributing to the further growth of this sector. That’s why the Government decided to grant HUF 250 million as non-refundable financial support for the expansion of the Citi Budapest Service Centre, the State Secretary said. He also noted that US-Hungarian economic relations show steady development. Last year the bilateral trade turnover increased by 25 percent, while in the first five months of this year Hungarian exports to the United States grew by about 37 percent.

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Aftab Ahmed, CEO of Citi Hungary said that they highly appreciated the support provided by the Hungarian Government for the expansion of the service centre, and emphasized that their intention to broaden their service activity is based on the highly skilled and committed Hungarian workforce.

The CEO reminded that the American Citibank has been present in Hungary since 1985, and this was the first franchise Citi established in Central and Eastern Europe. Today the bank and the service centre employ about 2,000 people combined in Hungary, he added. Mrs. Ágoston Beáta Előd, head of the Budapest Citi Service Centre said that this investment will result in the extension of service activities in the following areas: information technology, security, engineering-development and financial analysis. She reminded that the service centre was founded in 2005 with 49 employees, and their number will increase to over 1,200 people as a result of the current development. She emphasized that their highly qualified employees with IT and language skills provide services in several fields of information security, finances and business administration in the countries of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and for about 30,000 Citi employees in the region.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)