A high-tech firm deploys new assembly line in Miskolc, Eastern Hungary, said State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó on Tuesday in Budapest after signing a strategic partnership agreement on behalf of the Hungarian Government with Japanese automotive parts company, Takata.

The multinational company, manufacturing mainly airbags, builds its new factory in Miskolc, creating 1,000 workplaces in the area. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a speech at the factory’s foundation stone laying ceremony in March.

State Secretary Szijjártó stated that “the new plant in Miskolc will be the largest investment in the history of Takata, while the company is already present in 20 countries and employs 44,000 people”.

The State Secretary underlined that this investment is another success of the Hungarian Government’s policy of ‘Opening to the East’. With the new factory not only the assembly process is brought to Hungary but a full production line is installed in the country. Moreover, the factory will be powered by geothermal energy.

Péter Szijjártó highlighted the fact that Hungary became the flagship of the European automotive industry. These firms provide jobs for 137,000 people in Hungary, represent 28 percent of the output of the manufacturing industry and 21 percent of Hungarian exports. He also emphasized that the strategic partnership agreement between the Government and Takata is the 50th of its kind. While there was some criticism against the partnership system in Hungary, these are unfounded accusations as these agreements contribute to the economic growth of the country.

The State Secretary pointed out that while these partnerships were established between the Government and big corporations, Hungarian SMEs are also involved, as they can become the suppliers of the investing multinational companies.

State Secretary Szijjártó said that in 2010, Hungary set itself the objective of becoming the manufacturing center of Europe. “Now we are modifying this objective: we want to be not just a manufacturing center but an RDI center as well”. Takata spent 4.5 percent of its revenue on R&D in 2014.

Mayor of Miskolc, Ákos Kriza stated that the seat of Borsod County was one of the biggest losers of the regime change in the late ‘80s, but it has become one of the biggest winners of the last four years, as the city enjoys the Government’s full support. He emphasized the fact that the Japanese firm’s investment would have failed without the Government’s trust.

Stefan Stocker, the president of Takata called the strategic partnership a milestone that will open the way for further R&D cooperation between the Hungarian Government and Japanese companies.