“The Hungarian economy has gone through a dimensional transition in recent years”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday in Szeged.

At an event to mark the tenth anniversary of the opening of British Petroleum’s (BP) Hungarian service centre, Mr. Szijjártó explained that the Hungarian economy has made huge progress during the past decade.

“Thanks to the combined effects of courageous company decisions, the performance of the Hungarian people, and the administration’s economic policy, we have succeeded in enabling Hungary to boast the most rapid rate of growth in the European Union”, he stated.

“4.5 million people are now working and paying taxes, the highest figure since the regime change, and we have succeeded in always breaking the actual export and investment records year after year. The new situation requires a new economic policy approach”, the Minister said. “Now that we are on the threshold of full employment, the Government will be launching a new investment promotion system on 1 October in which the creation of jobs is no longer included on the list of conditions required for investments arriving in Hungary to receive funding from the budget”, Mr. Szijjártó exlained.

“The service centre sector, which primarily offers competitive job opportunities for young graduates who speak several languages, is playing an important role in the transformation of the Hungarian economy”, the politician told the press.

“Initially, major companies performed their simplest tasks from their Hungarian centres, but today mathematical modelling, accounting and high-level IT support are also included among the activities provided by Hungary’s 110 service centres, which employ a total of some 50 thousand people”, the Minister stated.

“One of the sector’s most prestigious representatives, BP, gave its vote of confidence to Hungary at a time when few people were doing so. The Government contributed some 5 billion forints (EUR 15 million) towards the company’s investment in Hungary, which totalled over 35 billion forints (EUR 105 million)”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“BP is present in 78 countries worldwide and employs 73 thousand people, including two thousand in Budapest in the largest of the company’s six global service centres. The company’s global revenues increased by 24 percent last year, with the Hungarian division achieving an even greater level of growth of 28 percent”, the politician said.

With relation to Brexit, Mr. Szijjártó explained that the Hungarians regret the fact that the United Kingdom is leaving the EU, but respect the decision of the British people.

“The British exit is clearly a political, economic and strategic loss for the European Union. In the period leading up to Brexit coming into force, the Hungarian Government is striving to ensure that nothing occurs that would make unhindered cooperation between the EU and the UK impossible”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

Vice President of BP Global Business Services Camille Drummond explained that the company has reached two important milestones: its service centre began operations in Hungary ten years ago, and the number of people employed by the company in Szeged has reached five hundred.

Ms. Drummond said BP is cooperating with the University of Szeged, thanks to which business students are able to acquire practical knowledge on a daily basis at the multinational company.

“BP is proud of the fact that it is attracting the best Hungarian employees, to whom it provides an excellent career opportunity both at home and abroad”, the Vice President said.

“The company is grateful for the support it has received from the Hungarian Government”, Camille Drummond said.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)