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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at Rosenberger Magyarország Kft.

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We find ourselves in an unusual situation here. At one and the same time we’re paying tribute to earlier decisions, announcing new ones, listening to Miklós’s account as a Member of Parliament – and meanwhile we must also hold a workers’ meeting. We do all this with pleasure. We apologise to the ladies for the unusual situation in which we are sitting and you are standing, but perhaps you understand that in this situation we couldn’t really arrange it any other way.

Allow me to welcome you all.

We came here to meet you and announce that, after Rosenberger’s electronic components manufacturing plant inaugurated last year, the company is bringing new developments to Hungary. Figures always get confused, but this is perhaps not so important now, because life in the Jászság region is not easy – much the same as here in the Nyírség region – and they’re bringing new investments to these two locations: to Jászárokszállás and Nyírbátor. Future investments – those in the upcoming period – will amount to approximately twice the value of the investments to date. And those investments have also been sizeable, as this plant has been built to a budget of around 3.1 billion forints. As you’ve heard, the Government contributed 858 million forints to this sum, and four hundred new jobs came into being. Now our plan is for a new development, which will cost more than 6 billion forints, with the Government contributing 1.6 billion forints. Hundreds of new jobs – approximately four hundred – will come into being. The company director, our host Mr. Rosenberger, leads his company at an enviable pace, and we in turn are proud to be able to keep up with that pace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to say a few words in recognition of the Rosenberger family, as we are grateful to them not only because they will implement a major project here in the future, and not only for what they’ve accomplished so far, but also because the family has been an old ally of Hungary’s for more than twenty or twenty-five years. They were among the first to invest in Hungary after the fall of the communist regime. This is a family business which has nineteen factories on three continents. We’re proud that Hungary occupies a special place among these. It is important for us to bear their example in mind, because this is what we ourselves would also like. Hungary, too, would like to have family businesses which achieve similar results. After the fall of communism – I was already a Member of Parliament in 1990 – we had to face the fact that large-scale communist industry was in collapse. We had to consider what sort of economic system to build in Hungary, as there had been a forced hiatus of forty years: there had been no market economy, no private capital, and we lived in a totally different world. We were looking for countries which could be a model for a future Hungarian market economy. For us Germany was always there as an example to follow; not because it was large and strong – although these are naturally attractive features – but because in World War II the country was razed to the ground, and out of this hopeless situation after the war they managed to create a new German industrial sector which today the world marvels at. And we thought that if a country that was razed to the ground in a world war could be rebuilt, then after forty years of communism surely we too would succeed in rebuilding Hungary. All we needed was a good example. This is why Hungary has always looked upon Germany and Bavaria – where the Rosenberger family comes from – as an example to be followed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

German family businesses provide jobs for 68 per cent of German people, and account for some 50 per cent of Germany’s total economic production. Let’s not beat about the bush, these are figures we ourselves would like to reach. We are here today to celebrate a project of an international company, a German company, and we’ve also announced its plans for the future. But we should also say a few words about Hungary. We would like an economy which looks much like that of Germany: our hope for the future is an economy in which family businesses account for half of the Hungarian economy’s total output; and we would like – and I personally would also like – some 60 to 65 per cent of Hungarians to work in Hungarian-owned factories and other plants.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From the Rosenberger family and the Bavarian economy we’ve learnt that our national economy will be competitive if international companies account for one half of its output, and Hungarian businesses for the other half. A competitive economy must stand on these two legs. Hungary is also heading in that direction. Let me say a few words about the enormous scale of investment that the hard work of the past few years has brought to Hungary. Both Hungarian and foreign investments have been implemented. In 2017 the volume of investments increased by 17 per cent – to its highest ever level. Now I’ll quote some enormous figures, which I’m not sure one can easily grasp. In Hungary last year the value of all investments totalled 6,440 billion forints, resulting in our economy’s output increasing by more than 4 per cent. Looking at the list of investments that are due to take place in Hungary in 2018, I can safely say that again there will be enormous investment in our country, meaning that in 2018 also our economy’s performance will increase by more than 4 per cent – by at least four per cent. This in turn means that there will be ample funds to cover both your wages and the pensions of our senior citizens.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

What we heard from President Rosenberger is also important, because he spoke about a development which will not just create new jobs – which are very important – but new cutting-edge jobs. It is important that Hungary should not be just a production centre, but should also become a research and development hub. Hungary doesn’t want to join the world economy’s production system at its lowest level, but as high up as possible, creating the highest possible level of added value. The fact is that this requires two things: technology supplied by investors, and workers. And at this point allow me address the workers present here today.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I don’t know if you ever think about this, but those of you working in this factory are doing a world-class job. World-class factories are coming to Hungary because the labour force in Hungary has the knowledge and skills to meet the exacting standards of these plants: not only here in Nyírbátor, but throughout Hungary, in Transdanubia, in the south and in the north as well. We can safely say that our economic achievements make it clear that Hungarian workers perform to the highest world standards, and that we have world-class workers. We therefore have a chance to bring to Hungary not only assembly plants, but also factories with cutting-edge technologies which you can operate. I don’t know whether you here in this plant ever wonder why an investor comes here, of all places. Naturally, capital and technology are needed for an investment project, but why are these projects brought to Nyírbátor, of all places – or to Hungary, for that matter? They’re brought here because there are workers here who are able to operate these factories. There is massive competition for these investments. When a new project anywhere in the world is planned by Rosenberger, or any other company – in particular, a company operating on several continents, and Rosenberger operates on three – candidate locations must compete for that investment. Various locations in various countries enter the contest, and the owners consider where to set up new plants. And in this competition the deciding factors – the dotting of every “i”, if I may put it that way – are the workers’ skills, their knowledge, discipline and performance. If you and other workers in Hungary were unable to work to these exacting standards, these world-class projects wouldn’t be brought here: they would go to other places around the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was pleased to hear what Miklós Simon said: that here in Nyírség we’ve already achieved results in the fight against unemployment, as it used to be over 20 per cent. But I have to say that I’m not in the least satisfied with the result achieved so far, because unemployment is still 9 per cent, or 8.9 per cent. That is high. In other parts of the country – including in old industrial cities such as Tatabánya and Dunaújváros, which were in a difficult state thirty years ago, and which in the past we didn’t see as great development locations for the future – unemployment now stands at around 2 to 3 per cent. And, to tell you the truth, over here the situation is that there is not only unemployment, but also a shortage of labour. We must find a solution to this, as it’s hardly a normal state of affairs that on the one hand we have 9 per cent of people without jobs, and on the other hand plants are opening here which are looking for hundreds of new workers. We must find a solution to this, and the solution can be none other than work itself: we must be able to offer everyone a job opportunity that they’re able to accept.

As regards the future, Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s put our cards on the table; after all, we’re in the midst of an election campaign. As regards the future, I can offer three things to the people working here, and to Hungarians working in factories in Hungary in general. We can offer you the prospect of work. We have committed to this. We made a commitment to create one million new jobs over ten years, and we’ve already created more than seven hundred and fifty thousand. So we can commit to ensuring that everyone will have work. We commit to supporting families, as we have done to date – particularly women who are also raising children whilst working. They will continue to receive the sums they’re entitled to from our family support scheme, and we shall also keep the “Women 40” retirement system going: we shall protect it and we shall maintain it. And not only will the Government of Hungary accord you the respect that you’re entitled to: we expect everyone – be they foreign politicians or foreign businesses investing in Hungary – to show Hungarians the respect they deserve. Life in Hungary will be decent if there are jobs, if families are supported and if there is respect.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would also like to remind you that everything we have achieved so far must also be protected. These achievements have not been created from thin air. They are the result of strenuous effort: this plant also demanded effort of its owners, and required the support of the Government and the high-quality work provided by those working here. However, these achievements and results must be protected. When investors decide in favour of Hungary, or Hungarian businesses decide to invest their money or reinvest some of their profits in new projects, in addition to the quality of the labour force one of the main considerations is the fact that Hungary is a safe country. Therefore I’d like to draw your attention – especially ahead of the election – to the fact that the most important task is to preserve Hungary’s security. We shall defend Hungary, defend our borders, and not allow the development of conditions such as those one can see in quite a few countries to the west of us. We must defend Hungary’s security. We have plenty to lose. If on 8 April a government other than a national one is formed, one that does not seek to defend the country, we may find ourselves in trouble.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally, nothing more remains than to congratulate the people of Nyírbátor on this plant and the developments just announced. I would like to repeat that this decision, this investment decision in favour of Nyírbátor, is to a considerable degree due to the quality of work that you’re able to provide. I would like you to be proud of the work you do here, and I would like you to be proud of the results which bring more and more investments to Hungary. Do not forget that in Hungary more than one hundred and thirty thousand people earn their living in factories like this: factories related to the automotive industry. This project is important for us because it’s not only about the present – and subsequent investments in particular are not only about the present – but equally about the future. The world is moving forward, a digital revolution is under way and robotisation is under way in the world. Hungary needs investments which are implemented to the latest technological standards, and we need workers who are able to operate factories featuring cutting-edge technologies just as well as they have operated old-style plants in Hungary. In this I wish you strength and good health. I ask you – particularly the workers here – to pass on my best wishes to your families.

Thank you for your attention.