The Investors Of The Year Have Been Recognized At HIPA Award Ceremony
2023. 03. 23.
In line with the tradition, the “Investors of the Year” Awards have been granted yet again at the ceremony of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) where winners were announced in nine categories. The prizes were presented by Mr. Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Mr. István Joó, CEO of HIPA.
Each year at the "Investors of the Year" Award ceremony the most substantial investments of the previous year are recognized. At the 2022 Awards a number of new categories emerged and a few previous ones have been somewhat upgraded.
Accordingly, a special prize went to the best newcomer investor as well as the one involved in continuous reinvestment. On the other hand, the company delivering the best innovative product and large-scale training were also recognized. Apart from that a lifetime award was presented, and, as has been the case from time to time, the supplier and the industrial park of the year were chosen.
There was a lot of projects worthy of recognition in 2022 given the extraordinary investor activity represented, among others, by the record investment volume of EUR 6.5 billion. Last year in total 92 large FDI deals were closed to create some 15,000 new jobs and retain tens of thousands of them. The geographical origin of inflowing FDI is balanced as well, since 48% and 42% of investments stemmed from the East and the West, respectively. Hungarian companies, in turn, were responsible for 10% of the investment volume.
The even distribution was reflected also in the case of the “Investors of the Year” awardees. Three businesses each from Asia, Western Europe and Hungary were recognized, while the supplier and the industrial park of the year awards naturally go to a domestic stakeholder.
said Levente Magyar deputy minister for foreign affairs and trade.
South Korea maintained its leading position as largest investor as it invested the most on an annual basis in 2022, namely EUR 2.8 billion, for the third time after 2019 and 2021. The Asian country excelled in terms of project numbers and job creation, too. Every fourth new workplace and every tenth project could be linked to South Korean companies. Battery separator film manufacturer W-Scope alone invested EUR 720 million.
German businesses delivered a strong performance as always: they not only provided thirty percent of the investment volume, they launched the most (twenty-five) projects, and they committed to adding some 6,000 people to their payroll – an equivalent of forty percent of all newly created jobs in 2022.
Mr. István Joó, CEO of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency said.
As far as sectors are concerned, electronics, automotive and food stayed on top. Electronics attracted 43% of the total investment volume, whereas automotive and food represent 37% of all projects and over 44% of new jobs.
In addition, it is an important achievement that, with the purpose of luring the highest possible number of high value-added projects to Hungary, up to 20 such projects creating some 2,500 jobs feature the 2022 results in the field of BSCs, ITC and R&D.
Award winners of HIPA’s “Investors of the Year 2022 Award” Ceremony
Award for Strategic Investment, CATL
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) is a global leader of new energy innovative technologies. The company's €7.3 billion project in Debrecen is the largest greenfield investment in Hungary and it is among the top five FDI projects launched in the EU in the past decade. After having built a plant in Germany, CATL has chosen Hungary as the location for its second European factory where it plans to create thousands of jobs. The proximity of the Debrecen plant to its key automotive partners will enable the Chinese company to better meet the European market's demand for batteries, contribute to accelerating e-mobility and the European energy transition, and support Hungary's commitment to carbon neutrality.
Award for Newcomer Investor, W-Scope
Korean-owned W-Scope is one of the largest manufacturers of separator film used in electric vehicles’ lithium batteries. In June 2022, the company announced an investment of €720 million in Nyíregyháza, which will enable the production of up to 1.2 billion square meters of separator film per year. W-Scope will implement its first major investment outside Asia in Hungary with the aim of creating 1,200 new jobs, making it one of the largest employers in the Nyírség region. The 82-hectare project is currently under construction in Nyíregyháza's Southern Industrial Park.
Award for Continuous Reinvestment, Nestlé
Employing 2,500 people, Nestlé Hungária Kft. is the largest Swiss-owned employer in Hungary. Between 2010 and 2023, the company multiplied its output in four investment phases at the Nestlé PURINA pet food plant in Bük, which is the first in Hungary to produce both dry and wet pet food. Today, the factory in Bük employs nearly 1,400 people and its products are sold in more than 50 countries around the world. With the capacity expansion investments worth nearly HUF 140 billion announced in January 2023, Nestlé has embarked on Hungary’s largest-ever food industry investment, while in its 30 years of domestic presence it has invested a total of more than HUF 325 billion in its three domestic production plants.
Lifetime award for significant investor, Mercedes-Benz
With production in Hungary since 2012, Mercedes-Benz is a major investor and employer in the Hungarian economy. The CLA Coupé and the CLA Shooting Brake are produced exclusively at the Kecskemét plant, while the EQB, the first purely electric vehicle in serial production in Hungary, is also made at the Hungarian plant alone for the entire world market, with the exception of China. The German company has been continuously upgrading its Kecskemét plant from the outset, most recently announcing in July 2022 that it will invest more than €1 billion to prepare itself for electrification by deploying new assembly lines and a body shop. Thanks to the company's latest development, production started in the autumn of 2022 in the company's new press shop, which will supply Mercedes-Benz's global production network with even more "Made in Kecskemét" parts. In 2021, the number of produced units at Mercedes-Benz's Hungarian operation hit the one-and-a-half million mark.
Award for Innovative Product Investment, NIO
One of the fastest growing players of electrification is the Chinese premium electric car manufacturer NIO, which opened its first European production unit in Biatorbágy in September 2022 to create more than 100 new jobs. The company's innovative "battery swap station" concept not only significantly reduces charging times, but also provides a flexible solution to meet customers' changing needs on a day-to-day basis. At NIO's battery swap stations, a discharged battery in the vehicle can be swapped for a fully charged one in an automated process within five minutes, so that drivers can immediately continue their journey. The 10,000 square meter plant in Biatorbágy plans to produce 20 battery swap stations per month for export to Europe.
Award for R&D Investment, Continental Group – Continental Automotive Hungary Kft.
Continental Group is present in Hungary with future-proof automotive development centers, a test track, six factories and a regional tire distribution center. The company has been providing next-gen vehicle dynamics and road safety solutions to its customers in its Veszprém development center since 2001. At the largest privately owned test track in Eastern Europe, colleagues are working to develop and test electronically controlled braking systems and components for an accident-free future. The Artificial Intelligence Development Centre in Budapest was launched in 2018, and its activities were complemented by the Application Development Centre in September 2022. Their activities were expanded to Szeged and Debrecen at the end of 2022. As of January 2023, the two centers operate as Continental Autonomous Mobility Hungary Ltd., working with a network of 200+ software colleagues on the development of technologies for advanced driver assistance systems.
Award for Largest Training Programme, Vajda Papír
Hungary's leading manufacturer of hygiene paper products, Vajda Papír Group started as a family business in 1999 and has grown into a high-tech tissue corporation with 650 employees, supplying paper products to more than 30 countries. To boost the motivation and commitment of its employees, which is essential for sustainable business, Vajda Papír has launched a €4 million training project for 500 employees, 60 of whom will join the workforce thanks to a new €64.2 million investment. The program aims to improve the knowledge of paper raw materials and increase the efficiency of processing and base paper production machines. In addition, workers can improve their skills, among others, in terms of modern production methods and IT.
Award for Best Industrial Park, Makói Industrial Park
Thanks to its popularity, only 30 hectares of the 100% municipally owned Makó Industrial Park are still available, but further expansion is being explored to meet future investor demand. The popularity of the industrial park is due to its high quality infrastructure, proximity to the M43 motorway and direct rail links for freight loading. In addition, the availability of skilled labor from the nearby University of Szeged and the commitment to economic development and successful investment promotion policy of the Makó Municipality also contribute to the success of the Makó Industrial Park. So far, more than 30 companies have chosen it as the location for their operations, and HIPA recommended it on several occasions in 2022 alone to investors looking for a site in Hungary.
Award for Best Supplier, Titán’94 Kft.
TITÁN'94 Toolmaking and Turning Ltd. is a 100% Hungarian owned SME. The company is engaged in tool making, pressing, and welding, which has been complemented by a new heat treatment and tool production hall at its Lőrinci site. The company, which employs 90 people, has been a direct supplier to Magyar Suzuki Zrt. for 27 years, but for the sake of stability it also manufactures electronics and sanitary products in addition to its activities in the automotive industry, serving partners such as Toyo Seat, VNT Metal Hungary, ICS Automotive and WMU Bavaria, among others. In the past four years, TITÁN '94 has invested more than HUF 1 billion in development projects to improve its equipment, IT systems and infrastructure.