“An agreement could be reached next week with the European Union on the lifting of restrictions on state investment promotion”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced in Budapest on Friday at an award ceremony to present funding certificates to enterprises within the framework of the competitiveness-increasing program.

On Thursday evening, the Minister held talks with EU Commissioner for Competition and Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager. “Providing no legal obstacles arise, based on the agreement the Hungarian government will be able to provide more than the current 800-thousand-euro limit in funding to enterprises to promote domestic investment projects”, he added.
Mr. Szijjártó said it was thanks to the results of the past ten years that not even the crisis was able to ruin the opportunity to realise development. “Hungary can have no less humble a goal than to gain strength, and to also reinforce Hungarian enterprises”, he stated.

The Minister cited the companies present at the award ceremony as examples of the fact that the Hungarian economy is balanced, and can rely on many different sectors of industry and types of enterprises. “On Friday, a food processing company that processes Hungarian ingredients, a family-owned glass industry company, and an internationally owned automotive industry supplier all received their funding agreements”, he stated.

Kometa 99 Zrt.’s 576.5-million-forint (EUR 1.67 million) investment project is receiving over 282.4 million forints (EUR 817 thousand) in state funding. The Kaposvár-based meat plant is expecting to realise almost 50 billion forints (EUR 144.6 million) in turnover this year, and half of its sales are derived from exports. The company’s turnover has almost doubled over the past 8 years, and its products are now distributed in over 40 countries. The investment project undertaken within the framework of the competitiveness program will improve Kometa 99’s production performance by 25 percent. Managing Director Giacomo Pedranzini said he would like the products produced in Kaposvár to appear on foreign markets as the flagship products of the Hungarian meat industry. He said that in his opinion the crisis has shown that the meat industry is of priority importance, and Hungary has outstanding capabilities within this field.

“The external conditions are of course not always favourable, and prior to the coronavirus pandemic development was hindered by the swine fever epidemic, but thanks to the competitiveness funding the development projects we have begun can now continue”, he added. Member of Parliament Attila Gelencsér (Fidesz) said that in his opinion, based on local experience, enterprises regard the economy protection measures as an important source of assistance. “The fact that the epidemic situation is causing enterprises to review, audit and rethink, and is encouraging everyone to find opportunities for ‘overtaking in the bend’ could, however, also further serve their growth”, he explained.

CE Glass Limited will be investing over 575.4 million forints (EUR 1.66) towards which the government is constitution 282.4 million forints (EUR 817 thousand) in budgetary funding. In addition to manufacturing construction industry glass products, the company also supplies the automotive industry, to a significant extent based on foreign orders. The technology development investment project will significantly increase the capacity of the Szatymaz-based plant. The company, which operates in Csongrád-Csanád County, plans to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, and has also promised to create new workplaces as a result of the investment. At the event, company director Béla Kampler highlighted the rapid assessment of its application for funding. “Technological development is an investment in the future, and accordingly other enterprises must also choose this path. Particularly if they can also count on receiving significant funding from the state towards doing so”, he added. The Ministry of Agriculture’s Parliamentary State Secretary and the region’s Member of Parliament Sándor Farkas (Fidesz) praised the investment project being realised by CE Glass in Szatymaz, explaining that population retention capacity is paramount for rural regions.

“Thanks to investment projects that are increasing employment, settlements are not only able to offer locals a place to live, but also a workplace”, he emphasised.

Nidec GMP Hungary Limited is realising a 574.5-million-forint (EUR 1.66 million) investment project, towards which it can count on receiving some 287.3 million forints (EUR 831 thousand) in state funding. As the Hungarian subsidiary of one of the world’s largest automotive industry suppliers, the company achieved almost 34 million euros in turnover in the business year ending in March 2019. The company manufactures parts for electric vehicles in the Nográd County town of Bercel, and amongst others also works in cooperation with Korean-owned Hungarian battery producers. The company’s operative director said the automotive industry crisis is also affecting the company’s Hungarian production, but the company has recognised that it can only maintain its market position through modernisation.

“Accordingly, we will be installing new production lines in our Hungarian plant, and are also considering the establishment of a development centre”, Stefan Hornivius said. According to Member of Parliament Mihály Balla (Fidesz) investments have turned Nógrád County into an automotive industry centre. “However, the locals are also aware of the fact that they must be prepared for new development projects, and must contribute to this with modern training programs. Economic development in the region has gained new impetus, as a result of which new enterprises could soon also settle in the County”, the MP said.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)