Hungary has once again broken its record for the level of foreign direct investment in the country in 2022, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Tuesday.
Speaking from the South Korean capital of Seoul, Szijjártó confirmed that foreign investment into Hungary this year had reached €6.4 billion, surpassing previous records in 2019 and 2021.
The record figures were largely attributed to an increased level of investment from South Korean companies, particularly related to the electric car industry.
W-Scope Nyíregyháza, Volta Energy Tatabánya, Shinheung Monor, and NEO TPS in Bátonytereny manufacture tools and spare parts for electric batteries that determine the future of the automotive industry, Szijjártó said. He also confirmed that Korean and Chinese investments over the past few years have put Hungary on the map as a champion of the transition to electric vehicles. Chinese manufacturer CATL plans to start building a lithium-ion battery factory in Debrecen next year.
Of the €6.4 billion of foreign investment in 2022, almost €2.7 billion came from South Korean companies, the minister revealed.
“Never before have so many investments come to Hungary through the investment promotion system in the course of a single year,” said Szijjártó.
“Today we can say that Hungary is not only the European champion of the transition to the electric car industry, but we can also rightfully apply for the world title.”
“When the Koreans introduced electric battery production in Hungary, they created the possibility for the Hungarian economy to remain on a growth path in the long term, and as a result, we can now avoid the recession that is lurking in the European economy,” he added.
The minister said that Hungary had been able to attract investment from the East Asian companies conquering European markets due to the government policy of Viktor Orbán’s administration over the past 12 years, adding that these companies often choose to invest in Hungary because of its favorable conditions.
According to Szijjártó, there have been a total of 39 South Korean electric car industry investments worth more than €10 billion in Hungary since 2014.
The Hungarian foreign minister has been on a working visit to Seoul to discuss further investments with the leaders of six South Korean companies, with more foreign investment expected next year.
South Korea is now the fourth-largest investor in Hungary, and bilateral trade between the two nations reached a record last year, peaking at €4.7 billion.
He also welcomed the fact there are now direct flights between Budapest and Seoul, and expressed his delight that Korean Airlines is expected to increase its number of weekly flights between the two nations from two to three.
Szijjártó also met with his South Korean counterpart, concluding the country’s first trade and investment promotion framework agreement in the European Union. As a result of this, new investments may arrive and export opportunities may open up, reported Hungarian news outlet Magyar Hírlap.