Govt signs strategic partnership agreement with GE
Hungary's government on Monday signed a strategic partnership agreement with the local unit of General Electric (GE).
General manager for GE Lighting Europe, the Middle East and Africa Ivan Hutter said the agreement created the possibility to put ties between GE and Hungary on new footing.
The government has signed similar strategic partnership agreements with the local units of Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Daimler, Suzuki and Hankook as well as with Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter. National Economy Minister György Matolcsy said GE was among the first companies with whom the government signed a cooperation agreement as it had been "our partner for more than two decades". He added that the government had raised the number of university students in engineering, the natural sciences and computer science from 21,000 at present to 30,000 next year. He said the number would reach 40,000 in 2-3 years.
Hutter said that almost half of the people GE employs in the region work in Hungary. About 400 of GE's staff in Hungary are research engineers who work closely with domestic and foreign universities and companies, he added. GE entered Hungary at the end of 1989 with the acquisition of a majority stake in light bulb maker Tungsram. GE now employs more than 12,500 people in the country, making it the largest American-owned employer and investor in Hungary.
GE Hungary and its units have six factories in five cities around the country. The company has three regional business centres and two R+D units. GE Lighting has its headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in Budapest. The capital is also the location of a global R+D centre.
GE Hungary assembles gas turbines and repairs aircraft engines at its base in Veresegyház. It makes lighting at plants in Nagykanizsa, Zalaegerszeg, Kisvárda and Budapest. It makes circuit breakers in ózd, healthcare equipment in Budaörs and membranes to filter water in Oroszlány. GE Hungary had revenue of HUF 1,180bn last year, making it the country's third-biggest company.
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