Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Investment hits record in Hungary this year

Foreign direct investment in Hungary reached a record 6 billion euros or 2,600 billion forints this year, Peter Szijjarto, Hungary's minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Wednesday.

The list of investors was topped by South Korea in terms of the volume of investments, and by Germany in terms of the number of jobs created, the minister said on Facebook.

Szijjarto qualified the structure of FDI “healthy”, with 48 percent of investment coming from the East, and 42 percent from the West. Hungarian investments account for about 10 percent of the total, the minister said.

The majority of investments were in the electric vehicle industry, Szijjarto added.

Hungary’s goal has to be bypassing a recession and maintaining economic growth, he said. This can only be done by bringing more and more investment to Hungary, he said. “These are what create jobs, which generate output, which generates economic growth,” he added.

Szijjarto highlighted the role of the government’s system of investment promotion in this year’s record, saying the government had put in a great amount of effort in making Hungary a meeting point for the Eastern and Western economies.

He identified the EV industry as the true meeting point of the Eastern and Western economies, adding that the major Western car manufacturers would soon shift their focus to electric vehicles. This requires electric batteries which are primarily manufactured in the East by China and South Korea, Szijjarto said.

“Hungary by now has become the European champion of the automotive sector’s transition to electric vehicles,” he said. And because construction of Europe’s biggest electric battery plant is not set to get under way until early next year, “Hungary is also a realistic candidate for the world championship title,” he added.

Szijjarto said the EV industry attracted 73 percent of investments in Hungary this year. Altogether 43 percent had to do with electric battery production, while 30 percent were auto industry investments focused on the production of electric or hybrid vehicles, he added.

The food industry attracted 10 percent of investments, while 8 percent of investments went to service centres, the minister said.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said the ongoing war and the “flawed sanctions” imposed by Brussels in response to it were pushing the European economy towards a recession, adding that the longer the war went on and the more sanctions Brussels approved, the more difficult things would get for the European economy.

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