“A new global economic competition will commence following the coronavirus epidemic, and Hungarian enterprises that realise development projects now could acquire a major competitive advantage”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Wednesday at a Competitiveness Program funding certificate award ceremony.

“The way out of the current, difficult economic situation can be achieved though funding enterprises that are prepared to realise investment projects, and which by doing so create new workplaces or preserve existing jobs”, the Minister emphasised.

“Hungarian enterprises have the opportunity to create the foundations of their future success now, and correspondingly, the future success of the Hungarian economy is also being decided now”, he stated. Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that 645 applications have arrived for the competitiveness-increasing funding since the program was launched earlier this month, and applicant enterprises have undertaken to realise 306 billion forints (EUR 875 million) in investment, thus protecting some 116 thousand workplaces.
The Minister pointed out that the government had originally launched the program with a budget of 50 billion forints (EUR 143 million), which it later doubled, and this Monday it decided to increase the total budget by a further 50 billion forints, meaning a total of 150 billion forints (EUR 429 million) are now available. He pointed out that the deadline for the submission of applications is 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Mr. Szijjártó emphasised that the healthcare phase of Hungarian protection against the global pandemic may be regarded as having been successful, and we must now concentrate on economic protection, which will be longer that the first phase of health protection. According to the Minister, we must be prepared for the fact that recovering from the shock to the global economy caused by the pandemic will be a long-term economic policy process. “The situation was similar in 2010, but at the time the Hungarian economy began from a much more weakened state, while on this occasion it arrived in this period of many challenges in an excellent state”, he explained.

“The government is concentrating on protecting workplaces, but jobs can only be protected if investment projects are realised. For this reason, the state is exploiting the easing of restrictions on the part of the European Union to fund investment projects that protect workplaces using domestic budgetary resources”, the Minister emphasised. “Over the past ten years, Hungary has made a great effort to become the most attractive investment destination in Central Europe, and we will not be giving up this position even amidst the current, difficult circumstances”, Mr. Szijjártó declared.

Funding certificates were presented to three more company directors on Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The State of Hungary is contributing over 287 million forints (EUR 820 thousand) towards the 574 million-forint (EUR 1.64 million) investment being realised by Bayer Construct Zrt. The construction industry and property development company group will be realising a construction industry technological development project. Indupro Limited will be releasing an investment exceeding 830 million forints (EUR 2.37 million), towards which it will be receiving 282 million forints (EUR 805 thousand) in state funding. The precision metalworking company, which operates in Páty, near Budapest, will be establishing a new place of operations and production hall.

The region’s Member of Parliament Zsolt Csenger-Zalán (Fidesz) highlighted: “The government took action in a timely manner, and is supporting enterprises with programs that not only assure the rapid rebooting of the economy and the protection of workplaces, but also that production can begin anew at a higher level of technology”. “This will assist innovative enterprises to also be able to stand their ground in European competition”, he pointed out.

Master Good Limited will be realising a 580-million-forint (EUR 1.66 million) investment project, towards which it is receiving 282 million forints (EUR 806 thousand) in state funding. The Szablolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County-based poultry processing company will be realising a technological development project. The region’s Member of Parliament Miklós Seszták (KDNP) declared: “The most important element of the funding is that it is reaching enterprises rapidly, flexibly, in line with market requirements, and without bureaucracy”. The MP thanked enterprises for their courage and perseverance with relation to the fact that instead of closing down and downsizing, they instead want to realise development projects and keep on their employees.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade / MTI)