“Korean investments are bringing with them state-of-the-art technology, are based on major research & development results, and with their high added value are contributing to enabling the rapid realisation of the Hungarian economy’s dimensional transition”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday in Budapest at an event to announce South Korean corporation Samyang Biopharm’s investment in Hungary.

“Samyang Biopharm is constructing a medical instruments manufacturing plant in Gödöllő with an investment of 8.6 billion forints (EUR 24.8 million), which in its first phase will be creating 55 workplaces, and towards which the government is providing 1.3 billion forints (EUR 3.75 million) in non-returnable funding”, Mr. Szijjártó announced. Referring to his recent negotiations in Seoul, the Minister told reporters that Korean enterprises continue to have a favourable opinion about Hungary’s investment and business operating environment, and over the coming months hundreds of billions of euros in South Korean investment will be arriving in Hungary. The new plant in Gödöllő will be the first plant established in Europe by the Samyang Group’s medical instruments production division, and also the first Korean pharmaceutical industry investment in Hungary.

“During the coronavirus epidemic, the extent to which medical production capacities are important became very clear, and this investment will also reduce Hungary’s vulnerability during difficult periods”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised. The Hungarian Foreign Minister pointed out that the record for foreign investment in Hungary, as well as the record for Hungarian exports, has been broken in every consecutive year since 2014. Thanks to the investment environment, the high performance of the Hungarian workforce, continuously decreasing tax burdens, the wide-ranging investment promotion funding system, and political stability, the highest number of investments ever recorded arrived in the country last year, he explained. “In addition, 2019 was the first year in which German investors did not bring the most investments, and South Korean enterprises took over first place”, he added. “Last year, Korean corporations made the decision to invest over 2.5 billion dollars, which equates to 48 percent of total Hungarian investment last year, and over 4500 new workplaces were created thanks to these Korean investments”, the Minister told the press.

Mr. Szijjártó noted that it was the source of major disputes when the Hungarian government launched its Eastern Opening policy in 2010. “Today, we can see that the role of Asian and Far Eastern enterprises is continuously increasing globally, the level of technology they represent is becoming continuously higher, and they are increasingly establishing a foothold on the European market. 58 percent of global investments are being realised using Eastern capital, and only 40 percent from Western capital”, he explained. The Foreign Minister said it is hypocritical that those Western European countries that are criticising Hungary’s Eastern Opening policy are entering the competition for Eastern investments with the greatest possible energy. In a video message, President of Samyang Biopharm Korea Om Te Ung emphasised that during its search for a site for its European expansion, the company found Hungary to be an outstanding location. The active support that the administration is affording to investments also contributed to the corporation’s decision, he added.

The region’s Member of Parliament László Vécsey (Fidesz) highlighted the fact that Gödöllő and its surrounding area have played an important role in Hungarian pharmaceutical production and research & development for several decades. As he explained, Samyang boasts one of the longest histories among South Korean enterprises, one of its divisions has already been present in Hungary for over a decade, and the company group’s latest investment will be bringing with it a high level of technology and an organisational culture and work ethic that will contribute to further reinforcing the region’s economic potential.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)