Sijjártó vor der Kammer:
“Consider it as economic life insurance that in the European automotive industry today there is no way around Hungary.”
That’s what Foreign Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday at a conference of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) in Budapest.
“As far as the criticism of the construction of battery factories is concerned, the question is not at all whether such factories will be built, but only where,” the minister stated. “In addition, we are in competition for these investments with those countries that launch the sharpest attacks against Hungary, China or Chinese investments in their political communication.”
Who inspired the critics?
Hungary is already No. 4 in the world in terms of capacity in battery cell production, and batteries have supplanted the automobile as the country’s main export for a good year now. Szijjártó advised the (political) critics not to pretend that this story is about something mysterious. To this day he wonders who gave the opposition the inspiration, it would be better if the tens of thousands of jobs associated with the battery factories were not created in Hungary but elsewhere.
With its strategy, Hungary has meanwhile underpinned its position of serving as a meeting place for investors from East and West. In addition to the three German premium manufacturers, three of the seven largest battery manufacturers have already settled in this country. Because Western companies in this sector have become extremely dependent on partners from the East, it is like life insurance for the country to have become an irrefutable factor in these matters.
There is no either/or!
Szijjártó dispelled another misconception that the Orbán government would rather support multinationals than domestic SMEs. “This question feigns an either/or, where there is an and!” On top of that, domestic investment projects are funded relatively more intensively. “However, I see the most important support for local companies in the fact that we bring large-scale projects from investors to Hungary, which will also generate demand for products and services in this country in the long term.”