“In addition to protecting human health, the government’s extraordinary measures are also protecting the economy from the coronavirus”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Monday in Kiskunfélegyháza, where he presented a competitiveness-increasing program funding certificate.

Mr. Szijjártó said renewed restrictions were unavoidable because of the resurgence of the epidemic. “In recent weeks it has become certain that the second wave of the epidemic has reached Hungary, put there cannot be another downturn in production”, he emphasised.

The Minister confirmed that the government’s goal remains to avoid unemployment, rather than to avoid its consequences. Investment projects are not just important to maintain the rate of employment however, he stated. “Hungarian enterprises may also gain a competitive advantage on international markets if the do not view the crisis as a reason to downsize, but as an opportunity”, he explained.

At the event, Mr. Szijjártó presented a funding certificate to Félegyházi Bakery Limited. “The company is investing 649 million forints (EUR 1.8 million) to introduce new technology previously unseen in Hungary. Thanks to the investment, the company will be able to fulfil domestic orders that until now have been fulfilled by foreign enterprises”, the Minister said, justifying the 282 million forints (EUR 782 thousand) in state funding. He added that thanks to the new technology Félegyházi Bakery Ltd. will be able to ship its goods to over 100 km away, meaning it could also acquire a share of other countries’ markets.

Mr. Szijjártó welcomed the fact that 140 bakery industry enterprises have been awarded competitiveness-increasing funding nationwide, with a total of 42 enterprises from Bács-Kiskun County submitting applications for state funding. “The 20 billion forints (EUR 55.5 million) in investment these enterprises are realising means the preservation of 6700 workplaces, towards which the government has decided to contribute 9.8 billion forints (EUR 27.2 million) in funding”, he added. Praising the performance of the County’s enterprises, the Minister pointed out that industrial production in the County has increased by 300 percent since 2010, while unemployment has fallen to almost half.

According to publicly available company data, Félegyházi Bakery Limited realised over 8 billion forints (EUR 22.2 million) in net turnover in 2018, with after-tax profits of 533 million forints (EUR 1.48 million), almost 200 million (EUR 555 thousand) more than in the previous year.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade / MTI)