Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó called Debrecen the investment champion on Tuesday at the inauguration of Alföldi Milk Ltd.’s cheese and powdering plant in the Hajdú-Bihar County capital.

“In recent years, 25 major investments have been announced that involve the city, with which 8142 new jobs have been crated in Debrecen and 544 billion forints (EUR 1.66bn) in investment has been realised”, Mr. Szijjártó told reporters. “The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) is currently in negotiations concerning ten further investments involving the city”, he added. “The Hungarian Government has provided 4.8 billion forints (EUR 14.7 million) in non-returnable funding towards Alföldi Milk Ltd.’s 15 billion-forint (EUR 45.9 million) investment project, which began in 2017 and with which the company has created 181 new jobs”, the Minister highlighted.  “The introduction of modern, automated technology has taken place in Debrecen, with which Alföldi Milk will be able to stand its ground amidst stiff competition on both domestic and foreign markets”, he stated.

“As a result of the investment, the company will be able to produce 8500 tons of Trappist and gouda cheese every year, as well as 7000 tons of powdered products in Central Europe’s largest powdering plant”, he added. The Minister said the high level of funding provided by the Government was also justified in view of the fact that Alföldi Milk remains the only milk production group that uses 100% Hungarian milk to manufacture its products. “Debrecen is one of the centres of Hungary’s milk industry”, he declared.

According to Mr. Szijjártó. The Debrecen investment is also proof of the fact that Hungary is one of the winners of the new global economic era in which enterprises must conform to increasingly strict and sophisticated expectations and standards. The VAT cut has also played a role in enabling Hungarian milk producers to find their own feet gain following the abolition of the EU milk quota in 2015, and “today we have achieved a stage where last year the value of milk processing and milk production reached 300 billion forints (EUR 918 million), and the milk industry achieved 8 percent growth during the first quarter of this year”, he added. “7000 Hungarians are now working in this sector of industry, and our competitiveness is indicated by the fact that almost 400 thousand tons of Hungarian milk were sold on international markets last year”, Mr. Szijjártó said in Debrecen.

Mayor of Debrecen László Papp (Fidesz-KDNP) called the investment an outstanding event in the city’s economic development, because the milk industry almost closed down in Debrecen a few years ago. “But the city and the company’s milk-producing owners joined forces, and today the milk plant is once again a determining part of the city’s food industry”, he explained, adding that the local government has provided 120 million forints in funding towards the investment, which is creating 181 new workplaces.

According to Member of Parliament Lajos Kósa (Fidesz), the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy must be facilitated through legislation relating to market regulation. Managing Director of Alföldi Milk Ltd. Mónika Rózsás told the press: “In our cheese production plant, Trappist cheese is produced using 250 thousand litres of milk, while the by-products of cheese production are utilised in our powdering plant”. “We are also appearing on foreign markets with our gouda cheese, and are currently in negotiation with Japanese and Chinese partners about distribution”, the Manging Director added.