The most prominent investors of 2020 have been honoured in eight categories

The most prominent investors of 2020 have been honoured in eight categories

2021. 09. 08.

2020 was also a special year for the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA). Although operations were still normal at the beginning of the year, the pandemic that started in the spring brought about unprecedented challenges for both investors and the country at large. Despite the circumstances, HIPA contributed to the implementation of 907 projects in 2020. Forming part of the projects are the 97 large FDI projects in relation to which a positive investment decision was made for Hungary in 2020. For these investments, awards were granted in eight categories at HIPA's 'Investors of the Year' gala event. The prizes were presented by Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Róbert Ésik, CEO of HIPA.

Each year at the "Investors of the Year" award ceremony the companies executing the most considerable investments of the previous year are being recognized together with a Hungarian supplier and an industrial park.

Examining the above mentioned 97 projects according to country of origin, it can be observed that Asian investments (coming from South Korea, Japan, China and India) are continuing to expand. These investors are implementing 30 investment projects (30.9% of all projects) in the value of EUR 1,165 million, creating 3,612 new jobs for the Hungarian national economy. In terms of investment volume, China ranks first with a weight of 27.1% (EUR 664 million) while South Korea is in third place (17.8%, EUR 436 million). With 20 projects, Germany has made the most number of new investments and the United States heads the list of job creation with 2,496 jobs, representing 24.7% of all jobs created.

In terms of sectoral breakdown, the expansion trend of the electronics sector and electromobility continued; in particular, manufacturers of components for electric vehicle batteries launched major investments. Thanks to the 22 projects in this area, 3,320 new jobs will be created and EUR 808 million will be invested. It remains an important objective to attract as many high value-added investments as possible to Hungary's service industry. A significant result in this respect, is that business service centres, ICT investments as well as research and development projects accounted for a large proportion of last year's results with 25 projects and more than 3,000 new jobs.

HIPA's strategic objective is to provide FDI investors with the same high-standard support and assistance throughout the whole country, building on the cooperation of the respective settlements and Hungarian enterprises. To this end, HIPA pays particular attention to the promotion and improvement of the supplier role among domestic small and medium-sized enterprises, and also to the preparation of investment locations. Therefore, two award categories – 'Industrial Park of the Year' and 'Supplier of the Year' – specifically serve the recognition of the domestic players' achievements.

Award winners of the HIPA Investors of the Year 2020 Award Ceremony

Largest Greenfield Investment of the Year
Lithium-ion battery separator film developer and producer company, Semcorp Group has established its first production unit outside of China. The 97,000 m2 greenfield plant will start operations in early 2023 in the South Industrial Park located in the city of Debrecen. The investment, worth more than EUR 183 million, will create 440 new jobs. The separator films, manufactured in Hungary, will be used primarily in electric and hybrid car batteries.

Business Expansion of the Year
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft.
With two strategic decisions in favour of the Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Ltd. in 2020, the Kecskemét plant strengthened its key position in the Mercedes-Benz Cars' global production network: With an investment value of more than EUR 100 million, Mercedes-Benz announced that it had established a 23,000 m2 new, fully automatic press plant in March 2020. In addition to this expansion, the decision of the Mercedes-Benz management to invest more than EUR 100 million in developing the Kecskemét plant to add the first purely electric vehicle, the new EQB compact SUV model, to the current series production was announced in December 2020. By 2021 Q4 the production lines of the Kecskemét plant will manufacture every drive type from the classic internal combustion engines through the plug-in hybrids to the purely electric drive.

Company of the Year for Job Creation
Lenovo Manufacturing Hungary Kft.
Lenovo, one of the world's leading computer-manufacturing companies, is widely known for its global hybrid-manufacturing model, which involves a mix of in-house and contract manufacturing. To strengthen this model, the global company with Chinese roots established an in-house manufacturing unit in Hungary, their first in Europe. The plant produces desktop computers, graphics workstations and data centre products, mainly for the European and African market. Lenovo's investment in Üllő will create 1,000 jobs, including positions for IT specialists and engineers.

Centre of Excellence of the Year
Diligent Governance Hungary Kft.
The US based Diligent Corporation is a leading governance, risk and compliance (GRC) SaaS (Software as a Service) company providing various services to more than one million users from over 25,000 organizations around the globe. Diligent's modern GRC platform ensures boards, executives and other leaders have a holistic, integrated view of audit, risk, information security, ethics and compliance across the organization. More than 300 professionals with a high level of education will be working in Diligent's new Center for Global Product Innovation in Budapest in the areas of software engineering, product management, quality assurance and more.

Business Services Centre Investment of the Year
Support Services Group Europe
With its headquarters in Wako, Texas, Support Services Group (S2G) offers a wide range of business services to over 60 partners, from classic service centre functions to professional B2B business services and its own CRM system. The management of S2G chose Hungary as the location for its European centre and wishes to create 300 jobs. The Budapest centre can provide high quality customer support to a leading streaming service company in five languages, covering eight countries.

R&D Investment of the Year
ARM Hungary Kft.
ARM, founded in 1990 and headquartered in Cambridge, develops smartphones and IoT tools in addition to designing AI systems, 5G networks and business infrastructure solutions. ARM Group has been present in Hungary since 2014 and their areas of business include traditional hardware and embedded software development, in addition to providing operative support to various business units within the parent company. The firm has expanded its presence by investing EUR 9 million and creating 60 R&D related workplaces in their Budapest office.

Industrial Park of the Year
Nyíregyházi Ipari Park Nonprofit Kft.
Due to its highly developed infrastructure and favourable geographical features Nyíregyháza Industrial Park serves as a home for many multinational companies with a core area of 127 hectares. As a result of the successful investment promotion policy and the dedication of the Local Municipality, the industrial park is fully occupied nowadays, but in order to satisfy the requirements of the great number of new incoming inquiries, a new 88 hectares industrial area will be developed.

Supplier of the Year
Hirschler Glas Kft.
The family-owned Hirschler-Glas Ltd., has been manufacturing glass and mirror parts for the automotive industry, and supplies 26 manufacturers, with 70% of its exports purchased by OEMs. In recent years, the firm has successfully implemented several R&D projects, which have resulted in increased productivity. Hirschler-Glas is dedicated to a complete transition to Industry 4.0, in which it can already show significant results. The company successfully applied for the HIPA-managed Subsidy to Improve Competitiveness, which helped to retain its 67 employees. In 2020, the plant won the Factory of the Year award in its own category