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Government Directs the Focus of Investment Promotion to Southern Counties

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.11.07.
The city of Pécs (southern Hungary)

Following the major rebalancing of the capital and attracting investment to the eastern and western parts of the country, everything is in place for the strategic focus of Hungarian government investment promotion to be directed towards southern Hungary, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced.

The minister said that although the Hungarian economy remains Budapest-centric, the imbalance in the geographical location of investments has improved considerably over the past six to eight years.

Apart from the fact that we have tried to attract investment to the countryside through various incentives, there was another major imbalance in the Hungarian economy, namely that the western region, especially the northwestern region, had a much stronger capacity to attract capital and investment than the eastern region,”

he emphasized.

“We have worked hard in recent years to narrow the gap between East and West in terms of attracting capital, and today the Miskolc-Nyíregyháza-Debrecen triangle has attracted investment to the East that is among the largest not only in Hungary but also in Europe,” Péter Szijjártó underlined.

“All this gives us the opportunity (…) to shift the strategic focus of Hungarian government investment promotion to southern Hungary from now on,” he said. The minister noted that

the government will accordingly treat the Szeged-Pécs-Békéscsaba corridor as a priority focus in the coming period.

He added that the reasons why it has not been possible to bring more and larger investments to Baranya county so far must be identified and eliminated. One of the main reasons is that there has not been a large enough area with good infrastructure.

This will be eliminated by creating a 600-hectare industrial investment area around Kővágószőlős and Kővágótöttös (both near Pécs), and then the Pécs-Pogány airport will have to be made usable, as has been done with great success in Győr (northwestern Hungary). In addition, an important step is the completion of the direct high-speed rail link between Pécs and Osijek, Croatia by the end of next year, and the issue of the Danube bridge in Mohács is also on the agenda, he said, adding that the Paks nuclear power plant expansion is also urgently needed.

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Szijjártó stressed that between 2010 and 2022, industrial production in Baranya county increased from HUF 280 billion (EUR 740 million) to HUF 960 billion (EUR 2.5 billion), while unemployment fell from 13% to 4%.

The development of the last 12-13 years gives us a solid basis and a good springboard to achieve even more impressive development in the next period,”

the politician highlighted.

The minister described the past decade and a half as an era of threats and crises, pointing out that the entire world economy had been turned upside down twice in the past four years by the COVID epidemic and the war in Ukraine.

In his speech, he criticized the EU’s failed sanctions against Russia, pointing to the collapse of the previous model of economic growth based on a combination of advanced Western technologies and relatively cheap Eastern energy.

The foreign minister underlined that while

the continent’s competitiveness has deteriorated dramatically, Hungary broke records for investment, exports, and employment last year and is expected to set new records this year.

“We can only remain successful in the years to come if the Hungarian investment support system remains the best investment support system in Europe, not in Central Europe, not in the region, but in Europe,” Szijjártó concluded.

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Via MTI, Featured image via Facebook/Pécs Most

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