Even though the issue with the battery plant seems to be an environmental one, political interests could be behind the demonstrations.Continue reading
It is an economic life insurance that Hungary has now become inescapable in the European automotive industry, and is competing for electric battery factories with those very states that are the most outspoken in their political communication against Chinese investments, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Thursday.
At the annual opening of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Minister said that the question is not whether battery factories will be built, but merely where.
He stressed that “in the case of these investments in Hungary, much stricter rules than those in Europe must be observed”. He also pointed out that Hungary is already the world’s fourth largest producer of electric batteries, and that in the last thirteen months batteries have been the country’s number one export item.
He also reported that
Hungary has become a meeting point for Eastern and Western investment, which is a guarantee for long-term economic growth and a hedge against uncertainties.
All three German premium car brands have factories in Hungary, and three of the world’s seven largest electric battery manufacturers are already present, while Western companies in the sector have become totally dependent on Eastern partners.
Péter Szijjártó also touched on the debate on why the government supports large international companies instead of domestic small and medium-sized enterprises. According to him, this is a hypocritical assumption, and there is actually a link between the two sectors, both profiting from the economic support.
“I think that one of the most important forms of support for Hungarian companies is the fact that we bring large investments to Hungary that create long-term demand for their products and services,” he said. The Foreign Minister underlined that the success of the strategy to strengthen the role of Hungarian suppliers is demonstrated by the fact that the production value of the electronics and automotive sectors also reached record levels in the crisis year last year.
Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó