Szeged builds on knowledge-based sectors

Szeged builds on knowledge-based sectors

HIPA delegation at the ELI research centre in Szeged

The world-class ELI research centre and the strong academic background can transform Szeged to a regional innovation centre in Hungary.

Investment promotion, sectoral and communications leaders and experts of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) held a training for the leaders of Szeged, which has increasingly become a subject of interest for investors. The training – as an after-care of Investor-Friendly Location programme of last year – aims to ensure that municipalities manage both already established and potential foreign investors even more professionally.

HIPA is committed, besides contacting and liaising with foreign investors, to turn Hungary into an investor-friendly country by organising courses and trainings for representatives of smaller cities, towns and other settlements, because major international investment projects now tend to target those locations. Hungary is not only about Budapest any more, which is also substantiated by the 2016 results of HIPA: out of the 71 investment projects successfully negotiated by the Agency, only 9 were implemented in the capital, while the Southern Great Plain had 12 projects.

Looking at the most popular investment locations outside of Budapest, Szeged has been a top city in the past years. Based on the experiences and the latest trends, leaders of the city decided to focus on high added value and knowledge-based sectors. This strategic decision is also backed by the highly qualified, multilingual, young and agile workforce coming from the well-recognised University of Szeged. Another strong pillar is the reference of the already established companies' results and activities in research and development and innovation. Further infrastructure and office developments are now under construction.

As part of the visit, a delegation comprising the senior executives of HIPA gained first-hand experience about the preparedness of the local government and the sites that might be offered. In addition, the experts of HIPA presented the changes of the modified investment incentives system also favourable for Szeged, and provided the representatives of the city with practical advice essential for conducting successful negotiations with investors.