Investors of the Year in Limelight at Hipa’s Award Ceremony

Awards

Top achieving foreign and local players were recognized in nine categories at Hipa’s annual "Investors of the Year Awards" to celebrate the results of 2023, which was another record year in the history of Hungarian investment promotion. The prizes were presented by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar and Hipa CEO István Joó.

The "Investors of the Year" recognizes the highest achieving members of the local investor community. The award categories remained the same compared to last year, so, this time around nine winners were announced as well.

And the year 2023 certainly gave Hipa a reason to celebrate. The previous investment volume record set in 2022 was doubled to surpass the EUR 13 billion mark, and the number of newly created jobs (19,692) also reached an all-time high.

The extraordinary investor activity was mainly due to the engagement of Asian stakeholders that committed themselves to implement nearly 82% of capital investments and two thirds of new jobs. China’s dominance was of particular importance given that the Asian powerhouse alone accounted for an investment volume of over EUR 7.6 billion.

“Taking stock of the 2023 results also provides an opportunity to reflect on the 10-year long operation of Hipa and our results achieved in the past decade. Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2023, there were up to 2,123 Hipa-guided projects in value of some EUR 49 bln to create over 150,000 new jobs. These results have been undoubtedly of transformative nature for the Hungarian economy,” István Joó said.

Two Chinese companies (BYD, CPMC) were awarded in the newcomer investor and the strategic investment categories. On the other hand, a Korean (Samsung SDI) and a Japanese (Magyar Suzuki Zrt.) investor were also recognized, raising the total number of Eastern winners to four. The former delivered another historic achievement by announcing the largest-ever R&D project in Hungary in value of EUR 61.8 million. Suzuki earned a lifetime award for its tremendous contribution to the national economy for over three decades.

Research and upskilling remained in focus in 2023 as well, with up to 10 R&D projects receiving a grant to create 810 new high-added value jobs, and seven training programs benefiting nearly 2,500 employees.

The largest training program and the most innovative product investment could both be linked to German companies. Hungarian stakeholders, in turn, were recognized in the supplier and the industrial park category.

Hipa’s Western partners were active in terms of the number of projects in particular. Germany delivered the most of them (18), an equivalent to every fourth, whereas the United States closed eight deals. The two countries combined were responsible for around 20% of all new jobs.

As to the geographic distribution of investments, Joó pointed out: "Our job is to replicate in the southern regions of the country what has been managed to achieve in Eastern Hungary: the examples of Debrecen, Nyíregyháza and Miskolc showcase that nothing is impossible if you keep building systematically and work consistently.”

The sectoral FDI landscape hasn’t changed a bit compared to recent years. Automotive and electronics continue to prevail. This dominance is reflected in the composition of the awardees as five winners operate in either of those sectors.

Award Winners of Hipa’s “Investors of the Year 2023 Award” Ceremony
Award for Strategic Investment, BYD Co. Ltd.
The world’s leading manufacturer of both electric and plug-in hybrid cars, BYD was founded in 1995 as a high-tech industrial company. After more than 28 years of high-speed growth, it evolved into one of the largest players in electronics, auto, renewable energy and rail transit. The Chinese company has recently chosen Szeged as the location of its first European Electric Vehicle production facility. Thanks to the multibillion euro investment, thousands of jobs will be created, and local suppliers will benefit from BYD’s presence as well. The Szeged project is the most significant investment of the past decades in the economic history of this country, and it perfectly showcases that Hungary has become the true meeting ground of the East and the West in the wake of the transition.
Award for Newcomer Investor, Benepack Hungary Kft. a CPMC Investment Company Limited subsidiary
CPMC, China’s leading integrated consumer goods packaging group, has made the strategic decision to implement its first overseas greenfield project valued at EUR 65 million in Makó, located in South Hungary. The investment, to be carried out by Benepack Hungary Kft., a CPMC company, will enable the production of 1 billion aluminum beverage cans annually, serving the demand from multinational beverage manufacturers and brewers. The 24,000 square meter facility, which is already under construction, will supply products to CPMC’s partner plants in Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Austria. As a result of this project, 120 new jobs will be created.
Award for Continuous Reinvestment, LEGO Manufacturing Kft.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in Hungary last year, Lego Manufacturing Kft. has been exceptionally active when it comes to reinvestments: the Group has invested over EUR 1 billion into its Nyíregyháza site. As a result, the plant is one of the three factories of the Danish company worldwide that perform all the steps of the LEGO production process. The latest development of the region’s biggest employer was announced in 2023 to add packaging modules, warehousing areas, administrative buildings and other auxiliary facilities to the Hungarian operation. Thanks to continuous reinvestments, the area of the facility will thus more than double by 2025 to 262,000 square meters.
Lifetime Award for Significant Investor, Magyar Suzuki Zrt.
Magyar Suzuki Zrt. was founded 33 years ago, and ever since it has become a key player of the Hungarian automotive industry. Being the first OEM that settled in Hungary after the change of regime, its contribution to the development of the national economy has been tremendous by adopting state-of-the-art technology, valuable know-how and modern work culture. Given that Suzuki is constantly among the top selling brands in the country its motto “We are Suzuki” is very much spot-on. The significance of the Esztergom operation employing some 3,000 staff is further showcased by the fact that it is Suzuki Group’s third largest production facility worldwide and the one and only in Europe. Taking into account the above, Magyar Suzuki Zrt. was among the first companies the Hungarian Government entered into a strategic partnership with in November 2012 under which there has been close cooperation in the field of Hungarian supplier development, among others.
Award for Innovative Product Investment, evosoft Hungary Kft.
The history of evosoft Hungary Kft., a member of Siemens Advanta, dates back nearly 30 years in our country. The company employing close to 2,000 colleagues has been the leading software developer in Hungary for years, and it plays a crucial role in Germany-bound software export. One of the latest innovations of evosoft Hungary Kft., which ensures its dominant position among others by continuous investments, is related to the newest generation of propulsion product family which allows virtual installation before the actual physical works launch. With the help of this innovative solution that is already available on the market different production units can be put into operation in a prompt and cost-effective manner, and the manufacturing process can become more productive. The project in value of EUR 8.4 million creates 75 new jobs in two locations.
Award for R&D Investment, Samsung SDI Magyarország Zrt.
As a member of Samsung Group, Samsung SDI has been manufacturing batteries and energy storage systems of various sizes, types and applications for more than 20 years. Its Hungarian subsidiary, Samsung SDI Magyarország Zrt., has committed to invest EUR 5 billion ever since its operation started back in 2018 in Hungary, creating more than 6,600 new jobs. The company decided in 2023 to implement a EUR 61.8-million large-scale project to accelerate its R&D activities in Hungary; it is also the largest R&D project ever managed by Hipa. The decision will result in retaining 194 related jobs. The company, in turn, together with Óbuda University, launched a very much needed industry-focused program that will provide valuable theoretical and practical knowledge.
Award for Largest Training Programme, Audi Hungaria Ahead Kft.
Having celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, Audi Hungaria Zrt. has been steadily building up its competence-based service activities within Volkswagen Group for the last 15 years. Some of the activities, which are not directly related to production, namely high value-added services in the field of procurement, IT and financial services, have been gathered under the umbrella of Audi Hungaria Ahead Kft. as from 2023. Due to the increasing importance of the service portfolio in Győr, the company launched a large-scale training program so that under a project in value of EUR 4 million some 500 colleagues can enhance their competences in professional, inter-professional and language areas. The program boosts corporate competitiveness and makes ever more premium services available to Volkswagen Group.
Award for Best Industrial Park, City of Szolnok
Szolnok has been on the radar of foreign investors for decades now, as evidenced by the fact that it is home to two major industrial parks. Szolnok Industrial Park, which is practically fully occupied by now, hosts a wide range of industrial activities on an area of 126 hectares. Given permanent investor interest a large-scale expansion of the facility by 330 hectares could give another boost to the city’s economic performance. The GIMA Szolnok Industrial Logistic Science and Technology Park is another dynamically developing venue with great business perspectives and substantial available capacities, whereas Szolnok Inpark of 62.5 hectares is a location offering excellent conditions where investors can find a new home. Accordingly, the City of Szolnok is fully dedicated to continue to offer attractive infrastructure for investing businesses and to facilitate investments in every way possible.
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