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Hungary gov’t signs strategic partnership with Coca-Cola

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán signed a strategic partnership agreement in the name of the government with Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország at the drink maker's base near the capital on Friday. Hungary's government is building a new economic model, and Coca-Cola will be among its beneficiaries, Orbán said.

Dimitris Lois, CEO of Coca-Cola Hellenic which includes 28 countries under the brand, has thanked the government for the attention it gave to the company. Lois said Orbán has assured him that the company can expect stability and reliability both from Hungarian politics and economy.

After signing the agreement, Orbán inaugurated Hungary's highest-capacity canned drink production line, capable of turning out 110,000 units an hour. Coca-Cola's unit in Hungary will supply the domestic market as well as markets in 20 other European countries with the new line.

Orbán said Coca-Cola had spent more than HUF 100 billion on investments in Hungary and provided for the livelihood of 1,250 families. The unit's exports came to HUF 8 billion last year, he added.

The HUF 2 billion production line could double the company's export revenue.

"Coca-Cola has had a fantastic career in Hungary: it was a forbidden drink, then it was put into the tolerated category, and now Hungary is placing part of its own economic hopes in this Coca-Cola plant operating here," Orbán said.

Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország managing director József Tarsoly said the new production line brings the plant's capacity to 350,000 units per hour.

The Ministry of National Economy announced early July that the upcoming agreement with Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország is aimed at expanding the company's production and Coca-Cola will strengthen the presence of Hungarian suppliers per the agreement.

The partners will regularly assess the development of the supplier and development cooperation and determine investments.

The aim of the strategic partnership is to secure the long-term presence of the company in Hungary based on mutual trust and predictability, to reinforce domestic production and to strengthen Coca-Cola's contribution to the government's policy to increase competitiveness.