- miniszterelnok.hu - http://www.miniszterelnok.hu/prime-minister-viktor-orbans-speech-at-the-inauguration-of-a-new-logistics-centre-for-revesz-nyirlog-kft/ -

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the inauguration of a new logistics centre for Révész-Nyírlog Kft.

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, allow me to thank the Révész Family for their invitation. As I was listening to the owner, it occurred to me that, as in our line of business, strong people tend to make short speeches. And then three stories immediately came to mind. It is said that when Churchill delivered his last speech, speaking to an audience of thousands, all he said was: “Never give up! Never, never, never, never!” And with this he left the stage. I also remember that when Helmut Kohl once played host, all that he said to his guests was: “Short speeches, long sausages”. And when listening to the owner, I further recalled that, when the newly-elected Ronald Reagan held his first Cabinet meeting as President of the United States, he said to his ministers: “I hate taxes, and I hate communism. Do something about it”. And then he closed the Cabinet meeting. What I’m trying to say is that it is best if the owner only needs to speak briefly, because everything behind him speaks for itself. This is also the situation we’re in here today. We can all see what lies behind the performance of the Révész family.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I’m not yet in the league of strong leaders, however, I’d like to salute your family and also share a few thoughts on this occasion. The first thing I’d like to share with you is that the fact we are now here together – and it’s quite clear why we’re here together – is clear proof that Hungary is finally beginning to pull itself together. I see many young people here, but there are also some of my age, and we can easily remember that this was not always the case. The Honourable Chief Executive recalled the initial period of communism’s demise. I well remember the whole thing: I’ve been a Member of Parliament since 1990, and in the period before the first election I was active on the streets. So I can clearly remember what the Hungarian economy looked like at that time, and what anguish the transition caused the entire country. The transition to this market economy was a very difficult period in the history of Hungary, and there were moments when one had no faith in this country – or there were many who had absolutely no faith. I also remember that the 2008–2009 financial crisis effectively floored the Hungarian national economy – and then, too, few of us believed that things could get better. A few years have gone by, and the fact that we are here together today is proof that we’ve pulled ourselves together somehow. Hungary has staggered to its feet, it is now standing on its own two feet; and even if it’s not as strong as we would like it to be, it is at least standing on its own two feet. And events such as this are taking place – perhaps not every day, but week after week there’s a new project, there’s a new development, there’s a positive sign and there are signs that our efforts are worthwhile.

The second thing that occurred to me when I looked around here was how good it is that in the final analysis the future of Hungary is not just written in Budapest, and not just by specialists in theory, but by actual entrepreneurs, businesspeople and investors. It is a great thing that it is written everywhere around the country – for instance in Nyíregyháza, which earlier was often regarded as underdeveloped, although those of us who know this city are well aware that for some time such a description has been outdated. I would like the condition and growth prospects of every major city in Hungary to be as fine as those in your city, Nyíregyháza.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Then I also remembered that, back in the eighties, in the mid-eighties, the communist regime had neither the strength nor the inclination to block the endeavour of the Hungarian people. This was the famous era of “business collectives”; along with me, those of you from the older generations may well remember it. At that time, in the mid-eighties, we wouldn’t have dreamt that those who were starting to stir – those who launched businesses and set out in circumstances which by today’s standards were incredibly, inconceivably difficult – would, 30 or 35 years down the line, become such important figures in the Hungarian economy. But this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is exactly what happened. There are many among today’s Hungarian owners of capital, entrepreneurs and successful businesspeople, who started their careers in the eighties at the bottom; I could say from the very bottom – from behind the steering wheel of a lorry for example. And if today we didn’t have these people, the Hungarian national economy would entirely consist of foreign-owned businesses.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This generation and its entrepreneurs grew out of that era; they have now become major entrepreneurs, investors and company owners, and constitute the group within the Hungarian economy which continues to push forward and carry the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m convinced that the Hungarian economy has nothing to worry about as long as the Hungarian soil produces a crop of such entrepreneurs, such brave people who are ready to take the initiative and embark on new things – people who I also see in the new generation. Our host, Bálint Révész, for instance, started his business in 1981 with a single lorry. Today during a brief test drive I had the chance to find out for myself that this is not some marketing pitch, but is indeed the case. This is where he started from, just like a mediaeval craftsman: he travelled all over Europe and saw everything there that was worth learning about. He brought that knowledge home, set out to realise his plans, and today he’s the owner of an entire business empire. We could also say that he’s the head of Eastern Hungary’s largest freight company, with a market share which is also significant by international standards. In light of the meeting we had before this inauguration ceremony, when we reviewed Nyíregyháza’s economic situation and the entire supply side of the logistics sector in Hungary, we can safely say that in its sector this company is Hungary’s market leader.

This is a great Hungarian success story, Ladies and Gentlemen. I know that modesty is imperative, but we can still say with humility that this is a great Hungarian success story. I’d like to congratulate your family on this. And we should also say that we have every reason to be proud that there are such talented entrepreneurs among the Hungarian people. My wish for us all is that the time comes when we’re proud not only of the performance of our athletes, scientists and artists, but also of the Hungarian entrepreneurs who, having started from nothing, have been able to achieve so much for Hungary.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If we had a few dozen more stories and entrepreneurs like this, the Hungarian economy would be in better shape. If you will allow me, I would like to say a few words about the present occasion, and about this investment. If I’ve correctly understood Mr. Révész, we’ve heard that a project of this scale was completed within ten months and to a budget of some nine billion forints, expressly with the involvement of local businesses. It is perhaps right to also mention the companies, in addition to the Révész family, which built this logistics centre in such a short time and to such a standard. I congratulate them as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Foreign businesses account for a considerable percentage of the Hungarian economy. And we need them, too. In the modern global economy we can no longer manage without foreign investors. We’re happy that Michelin is also here, in Nyíregyháza. But I have to say that while foreign companies are also important, at the end of the day Hungarian businesses are closest to our hearts, and within the Hungarian economy we’d like to see more and more Hungarian-owned businesses that are capable of great things. The next thought that occurred to me while I was listening to the project presentation is that it’s a comforting, reassuring feeling that in your city, in Nyíregyháza, businesses in Hungarian ownership and large foreign companies are able to cooperate. We’re not adversaries: foreign investments and businesses in Hungarian ownership are part of the same Hungarian national economy, and cooperation between them – cooperation between foreign and Hungarian businesses – is the key to development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d also like to say a few words about figures for exports, because that is also an area in which our host has a share. There are no exports without logistics. This year the volume of Hungarian exports will again surge to record heights – or at least we have reason to predict this. While foreign companies account for a large proportion of our exports, I also believe it’s important for an ever higher proportion of Hungarian businesses to take part in producing Hungarian exports as well as facilitating them as logistic companies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is also important to us that this is a family enterprise. The Honourable State Secretary has spoken about this. The observation I’d like to share with you is the following. I’ve seen many different kinds of factories, and I’ve inaugurated quite a few. I’ve also seen many different kinds of owners: foreign and Hungarian, businesses owned by legal entities and family enterprises. My experience is that the most valuable businesses are those in family ownership. In my experience the reason for this is that businesses in family ownership care a great deal about their immediate surroundings. In addition, people are more important to them: the people who they live alongside in the same settlement, and who they mostly know in person. It’s no coincidence that when we look at figures for contributions to communal goals, we find that family businesses make the greatest contributions to the cultural, educational, healthcare and often sports and leisure needs of local communities.

Today the Hungarian state would not be able to serve the needs of ten million Hungarians – their cultural, sports, leisure or healthcare needs – if a fair share of the state’s burden wasn’t being taken by family-owned businesses: businesses which feel responsible for a particular city or village. This is also true for the Révész family. On behalf of the Hungarian government I’d also like to thank your family, Mr. Révész, because recently your family and company have clearly been almost alone in the active role you have played in the life of Nyíregyháza’s sports club and in the construction of Nyíregyháza’s widely praised playground. We’re also grateful for this.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally I’d also like to say a few words about the future. The Chief Executive was absolutely right when he said that the key to business success, development and growth is trust. The question is whether we can also have faith in the longer-term survival of the general framework within which any particular project is conceived and launched. There are clearly business models, calculations and plans regarding recovery of costs, generating profits and recovering one’s initial costs. On behalf of the Hungarian government, all I can tell you is that if it’s up to us, the current general framework will be maintained for a long time to come; but as we live in a democracy, things like this primarily depend on the Hungarian people. So for all our sakes I would like the Hungarian people to be able to evaluate the country’s situation in a calm and composed manner, and when the time comes we hope that they will make a rational and wise decision on how we continue our lives. This decision will be made next year. At this point in time, in addition to congratulating the family, I can tell the Honourable Mayor and the people of Nyíregyháza that, in recognition and appreciation of the entrepreneurs active here, the Hungarian government will continue to be open to the implementation of further ambitious plans in cooperation with local people.

Thank you for your attention. I congratulate the Révész family. God bless you all.