Korea is the top investor in 2021 in Hungary

Korea is the top investor in 2021 in Hungary

V4 Korea Business Forum

Repeating the results of 2019, Korean investors claim the top position in Hungary for the second time in 2021 with regards to foreign direct investment. This year Korean companies have made positive investment decisions for our country in a value of almost EUR 2.8 billion, creating 3 and a half thousand jobs in the next period.

Rapidly developing Korean business community

According to the Hungarian National Bank, the Republic of Korea was already among the top 5 FDI investors in 2019, and this position shall most probably be strengthened in the near future as after 2019 – when Korea overtook Germany for the first time to claim the lead in FDI – Korean companies ranked number 1 on the list of foreign investors again in 2021.

Based on the data of the Korean Eximbank, Hungary has attracted the 2nd highest volume of Korean investments in the EU during the period between 2018-2020, and our country has been ranked as the number one investment location in the CEE region ahead of Poland in the second, and the Czech Republic in the third spot.

Between the beginning of 2014 and the middle of 2021, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) has contributed to the implementation of 35 Korean investments, as a results of which investment worth EUR 6.2 billion is realized in Hungary, creating 10,399 jobs for the national economy.

Parallel to the increase in investment volume, the number of Korean companies, as well as their headcount is also on the rise. The Hungarian Central Statistical Office reported 90 Korean companies with 11,072 employees in 2018, but the most recent data (source: KOTRA and HIPA) show that there are already 261 Korean businesses employing more than 20,000 people in the country.

HIPA-KOTRA MoU signing ceremony

HIPA-KOTRA MoU signing ceremony

Tight bilateral economic cooperation

In November 2021, 20 years after the last presidential visit, HE Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea paid an official visit to Hungary. The President was accompanied by a business delegation, consisting of the leaders of key Korean companies, who were briefed about the Hungarian business and investment environment during the "V4-Korea Business Forum".

The personal visit of President Moon Jae-in provided an excellent opportunity for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and HIPA to institutionalize their existing cooperation and to improve its efficiency. The purpose of the MoU is to provide Korean investors, who based on the unbroken trend in recent years play a prominent role in foreign direct investments in Hungary, with the highest possible level of services when making investment decisions, and also to make sure that Hungary is presented as a favourable investment location for prospective Korean investors.

The agreement was signed by Yu Jeoung Yeol, President and CEO of KOTRA and Róbert Ésik, CEO of HIPA at the headquarters of the latter.

KOTRA was founded as a trade development and investment promotion non-profit agency in 1962. It is currently represented in 140 countries, of which the Hungarian office was opened in 1988. Since the opening of KOTRA's office in Budapest, it has maintained an unbroken relationship with its Hungarian co-organisation. The activity of KOTRA in Budapest is trade development, investment promotion (primarily supporting Korean investments in Hungary), as well as direct partner search for Korean companies.