“The government regards Hungarian enterprises as allies in the fight against unemployment”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in the Hajdú-Bihar County city of Balmazújváros on Friday, where he officially presented Balmaz-Sütöde Ltd. with its funding certificate relating to the company’s 508-million-forint (EUR 1.47 million) development project.

Mr. Szijjártó declared that the whole nation owes a debt of gratitude to enterprises that have realised development projects during the coronavirus epidemic. “Economic news all around the world is about redundancies and plants closing down, but in contrast in Hungary 806 enterprises have undertaken to realise 377 billion forints (EUR 1.09 billion) in investment, towards which the government is providing over 169 billion forints (EUR 488 million) in state funding. As a result, they are successfully saving over 143 thousand jobs”, he added. “Instead of financing unemployment, we must finance the fight against unemployment, and Hungarian enterprises are partners in this endeavour”, he emphasised.

Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that it was in the interests of preserving and creating workplaces that the government launched its competitiveness-increasing program, within the framework of which enterprises that are realising and undertaking to realise investment projects are receiving high levels of state funding. “By doing so, the government’s goal is for Hungary to be stronger following the global pandemic than it was prior to it”, he added. The Minister pointed out that in recent weeks 122 food industry enterprises have been awarded various levels of funding within the framework of the program. “All this confirms that Hungary is in the absolute number one spot in the region with relation to the food industry, with the sector’s production value increasing by ten percent last year to over 3500 billion forints (EUR 10.1 billion), and growing by a further ten percent during the first five months of this year”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

Balmaz-Sütöde Limited has been awarded over 254 million forints (EUR 728 thousand) in government funding towards its investment project, thanks to which it will be increasing its bakery’s capacity and significantly improving food safety conditions through the acquisition of new machinery and equipment. “The baking industry company will be purchasing new kneading machines, expanding it storage capacity and constructing a rising chamber”, the Minister told reporters. With relation to Hajdú-Bihar county’s economic indices, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said unemployment in the region has fallen from 13 percent to just 4 percent over the past ten years, while industrial production has increased by 60 percent. “Thanks to the competitiveness-increasing program, 35 enterprises from the County are currently realising 16.5 billion forints (EUR 47.6 million) in investment, towards which the state is providing 8.2 billion forints (EUR 23.7 million) in funding”, the Minister explained.

Member of Parliament István Tiba (Fidesz) told the press that in addition to the baking industry company, six other companies from the area have been awarded funding. He said it is important that in addition to keeping on all of its employees, the company has conformed to all virus-related measures during the state of emergency. The company’s Managing Director, Zsolt Fülep said that following 13 successful applications for EU funding, the company has now been awarded funding from the government to mitigate the economic difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The company, which employs 178 people, suffered a 25 percent decrease in turnover, but despite this did not make any of its workers redundant, and has continued production at its 29 facilities. According to publicly available company data, in 2019 Balmaz-Sütöde Limited realised 1.5 billion forints (EUR 4.33 million) in net turnover and after-tax profits of 69 million forints (199 thousand).

(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)