“Austrian-owned vehicle research company AVL Hungary Limited will be constructing a research & development centre in Érd; the value of the investment is 12.5 billion forints (EUR 39 million), towards which the Government is contributing 3 billion forints (EUR 9.3 million) in non-returnable funding”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.

Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that the R&D centre in Érd will be the second in the global automotive industry company’s network after the one in Graz, preceding its centres in China, Korea and Japan.

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350 new workplaces will be created in Érd as a result of the investment, including 250 for engineers. “These workplaces represent an alternative to finding employment abroad”, the politician said.

The Foreign Minister told the press that the company employs a total of 9500 people worldwide and exports 99.2 percent of its Hungarian production value, which clearly indicates the company’s competitiveness.

The investment on the part of the company further increases Hungary’s ratio of research and development investments to GDP, as well as further improving Austrian-Hungarian trade relations, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó said the Austrians represent the third largest investor community in Hungary following the Germans and Americans: the 2500 Austrian companies operating in Hungary provide work for some 70,000 people.

Last year, bilateral trade flow exceeded 10 billion euros, making Austria Hungary’s second most important trade partner after Germany, he added.

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Managing Director of AVL Hungary Dirk Janetzko spoke about the fact that the company has purchased a 5.7-hectare plot in Érd for the project, where it will be constructing its new R&D centre and vehicle testing base. According to plan, the first office building will be completed by late 2019, and the new testing headquarters and test benches will be ready by 2020.

The company is a frontrunner in engine and vehicle testing and the development of drive system simulation technologies, and wishes to develop its Hungarian facility into a true competence centre, he added.

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Member of Parliament András Aradszki (Fidesz) told reporters that the City of Érd has purchased 40 hectares of land within the framework of the Modern Cities Programme for the development of economic zones.