Hungary is now among the top global producers of one of the hottest technologies of the future: electric battery production. Hungary’s success in this field is helping fuel the country’s strong export numbers, according to Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.
“Hungary is the fourth-largest producer of electric batteries in the world, and once additional investments are completed, the country will be the second-largest producer. In the last year and a half, Hungary’s number one export product has been electric batteries, which contributed to the country’s huge export record last year. So, we are now 34th in the world (in terms of exports), despite being only 95th in terms of population,” the minister said.
Hungary’s ascendance in this field is greatly tied to its growing cooperation with Asian countries — especially China. However, German automobile manufacturers’ vast presence in Hungary also plays a leading role.
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“Hungary and the People’s Republic of China are strategic partners of each other, and we see China as a country with which cooperation will bring significant benefits,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in a video posted on Facebook on Saturday.
The minister noted that 13 years ago, the Hungarian government announced its political strategy of opening up to the East, which calls for mutually beneficial cooperation with Eastern countries. In this context, Chinese investors are encouraged to choose Hungary as their destination in Europe.
“This policy, this political strategy, is a huge success story,” Szijjártó said, adding that Chinese companies consistently enjoy the most investor-friendly environment in Hungary and the lowest corporate tax rate on the continent.
He pointed out that 2020 was the first year in which Chinese investors brought the highest number of investments to Hungary and, according to their current data, this year will be the second. According to Szijjártó, the reason for this is that electric battery manufacturers from China are choosing Hungary as the location for their European operations. Hungary has become a meeting point for Eastern and Western investors, the minister added.
“We are one of three countries in the world, alongside China and Germany, where all three German premium car brands have factories, all of which have placed Hungary at the heart of their electromobility strategy,” Szijjártó said. “These batteries are supplied by Chinese companies. That is why it was a great honor to announce the huge investments of CATL and EVE Energy in Hungary and the investment of another top-10 electric battery company will be announced soon.”
Szijjártó also expressed his gratitude that Hungary was invited to the World Battery Conference, which was held in the Chinese city of Yibin, as a guest of honor.
“I would like to express my gratitude to Chinese investors for the confidence they have shown in Hungary and the Hungarian people,” the minister said. At the same time, he said that Chinese investors would continue to be encouraged to expand their capacities in Hungary or to bring their new European factories to Hungary.
As Remix News reported last August, the largest investment in Hungary’s history to date is being realized in Debrecen, where CATL, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, is establishing its second European plant worth approximately HUF 3 trillion (€7.3 billion).