“The automotive industry is the ‘backbone’ of the Hungarian economy; there are over 175 thousand people working in the sector”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday at the official inauguration of high-tech Japanese lithium battery manufacturer GS Yuasa’s new production hall in Miskolc.

“GS Yuasa, which is known for its innovative technologies, announced in 2018 that it will be constructing its first European plant in Miskolc’s southern industrial park with an investment of some 9 billion forints (EUR 26.8 million), towards which the Government has contributed 465.3 million forints (EUR 1.39 million) in non-returnable funding”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

Yuasa developed the first batteries in Japan. Today, its products are used worldwide, and the company is present in 17 countries at 37 locations, and employs a total of some 15 thousand people. The Hungarian subsidiary of the Kyoto-based company, GS Yuasa Hungary Limited, was registered in 2017, and the foundation stone of the company’s new, 60 thousand square metre plant was laid in March 2018 in Miskolc’s southern industrial park.

In his inaugural speech, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: “There are continuous changes within the global economy, and new technologies are coming that are fundamentally determining the rate of development of the automotive industry”. “These changes in the global economy are being dictated at least as much from the East as from the West; a new automotive industry era is being established, which is based on electromobility and self-driven vehicles”, he added.

“Thanks to the investment projects relating to the new automotive industry era, Hungary is one of the winners of the new global economic era; the sector’s determining enterprises have realised investment projects here in Hungary”, he highlighted.

“The world’s largest plant for producing batteries for electric vehicles is being constructed here, Audi’s electric motor plant, and a host of suppliers are also present in Hungary”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “Is it thanks to our Eastern Opening policy that the companies that are developing state-of-the-art technologies and applying them first have been successfully brought to Hungary”, he added.

GS Yuasa has created 51 new workplaces in Miskolc; the company has the second largest share of the world market within the field of lead acid batteries. Hungary is the only location outside Japan where the company produces lithium batteries, the vast majority of which go to export.

On the subject of Hungarian-Japanese relations, the Minister also stated: “Japan is the seventh largest investor in Hungary; the 160 Japanese companies operating here employ 34 thousand people, and last year bilateral trade flow increased by 3.3 percent to 2.2 billion dollars”.