Announcing a new investment by German discount supermarket chain Aldi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said the future success of the Hungarian economy will be determined by where companies dictating the tempo of the global economy develop, introduce and begin applying their innovations.
The minister was speaking at a press conference in Pécs (SW Hungary), announcing a new investment project by Aldi International IT Services (Aldi IIT), which provides IT services for the local unit of Aldi, according to a report on official government website kormany.hu.
He announced that Aldi will establish its second Hungarian service center after its existing facility in Biatorbágy, with an investment of HUF 1.3 billion, for which it has been granted HUF 300 million in government funding, resulting in the creation of 70 new jobs.
Szijjártó noted that the Hungarian economy is characterized by a dimensional transition, and instead of focusing on production it is now placing the emphasis on higher added-value workplaces, services, research and development. He added that it is important to lead the economy forward from the “Made in Hungary” era into the “Invented in Hungary” era, arguing that the Hungarian government has made the necessary decisions to enable the chief direction to no longer be the number of workplaces, but the level of technology represented by workplaces.
“We have significantly simplified the investment promotion and funding systems, as a result of which service sector investments can now be financed more easily and simply, and to a greater extent,” the minister said.
Offering young Hungarians opportunities that encourage them to achieve success at home with their added value, level of technology, status and salaries, so that they stay at home in major provincial cities, was also pointed out as a determining factor by the minister.
Szijjártó highlighted the fact that a total of over 110 service centers are currently operating in Hungary, employing some 50,000, mostly highly qualified young people in their twenties.
The minister also noted that Germany is Hungary’s largest trade partner and foreign investor, with a record EUR 54 bln in trade flow realized between the two countries last year.
David Godschalk, managing director of Aldi IIT, underlined that the company group is satisfied with the high-quality IT services being provided from Hungary since 2013.
“Our staff are open, flexible, agile and speak several languages, and provide for the unhindered operation of the computer systems of the company’s stores, warehouses and national headquarters from Milan to Glasgow,” he noted.
In addition to Hungarian, the company’s experts also provide support in English, German, Italian, Slovenian, and French. Thanks to the increase in staff at the company’s center in Pécs, the number of people employed by Aldi IIT in Hungary will increase to 150.
Last year, Aldi IIT achieved HUF 1.039 bln forints in net turnover and after-tax profit of HUF 52.1 mln.
Aldi Hungary Food, which operates the company group’s supermarkets, opened its first store in Hungary in 2008, and the company is currently present within the Hungarian retail sector with 140 stores, employing some 3,300 people.