Szijjártó Péter, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, called Debrecen as investment champion at the transmission of cheese and powder manufactory of Alföldi Tej Kft. held on 21.th of May 2019. He said that 8142 new jobs were created in Debrecen and developed with value of 544 billion forints. What are other tasks and investments that are planned soon, based on this excellent economic achievement?
Minister Szijjártó called Debrecen as an investment champion based on the job investment data from 2018. The year 2018 was outstanding for Hungary in international relations, because 4.3 billion investment announcement was made and 1/3 of the value of investment arrived in Debrecen in this particularly strong year. This high-level business confidence poses city to serious challenges, first in terms of available industrial infrastructure. There are currently over 700 hectares of industrial infrastructure development work on several sites on the west side of the city. As we know, this is currently the largest simultaneous industrial development investment in Europe. These developments include earthworks of investment areas, utility developments (electricity, gas, water, channel system, information technology), railway and road network developments, and motorway network developments. A new intermodal rail logistics terminal is being built, next to the Northwest Economic Zone, where a new BMW manufacture will be built, to meet the rail transportation needs of the region's industry. Currently, are running these and other transportation and planning developments.
Could you please inform readers about a deal with BMW? What kind of work tempo is going on?
We signed an agreement with the representative of BMW Group last year in October, that regulates the preparatory works and the necessary insurance of a new investment area for building a new European BMW factory. Totally available development area of 400 hectares, and the related supplier park are currently owned by the municipality. The 400-hectare development area will be sold to BMW after the completion of preparatory works.
The archeological works of the whole area were done, now earthworks are in a process such as area leveling, soil stabilization, building rainwater drainage, and building the necessary industrial utility infrastructure. These works are invested by the municipality of Debrecen based on the agreement. Elements of the transport development, that are connected to the industrial area and the Northwestern part of Debrecen, will be built from governmental investment in the upcoming years. It can be stated that the investment is proceeding as initially planned.
In Debrecen, five ready-to go Mercedes-Benz Conecto articulated buses were handed by Inter Traction Electrics Kft. How make this investment easier and more efficient the city transportation?
The events of past years have put Debrecen in a very special position. As far as we know, we are the only city - and if there is another one, but certainly not many – where will be a production capacity for two big German automotive giants, BMW and Daimler. The manufactory of Mercedes buses has already started in Debrecen, in the local manufactory hall of ITE Kft. The company received a manufacturing authorization for the production of Mercedes-Benz Conecto buses as a medium-sized company and a partner of EvoBus Hungária Kft. Until this time, 80 new buses have been assembled by added Hungarian value. ITE Kft. delivering finished buses to their customers continuously. The 5 new Mercedes buses, that have been working in the city only for a few months, in comparison with an older versions are environmentally more friendly, have better-operating parameters than Volvo buses and traveler´s feedback is more positive. This fact is not surprising as Volvo buses have been in use on the roads of Debrecen for more than 10 years.
7.3 million forints go for the development of vocational and technical training, but to educate students who do not speak Hungarian secondary schools will be set up with the German language and in the language of neighboring countries. What is the main purpose to expanding the educational network and what strategies do you have to reach out to young students who want to learn?
Education is one of the most important parts and the most important power of our city strategy. We see this area as a very important condition regarding city growing and economic development.
In 2015 we announced Debrecen´s educational expansion as we recognize a business interest and trust in Debrecen. We have created the Education Committee in Debrecen, which integrates the city´s educational organization representatives along with the coordination of municipality and granting free access to information for all, from primary to higher education. We have linked companies in the city with educational organizations and a Career Vocational Training System in Debrecen is operating, which connects talented students with a company of their interest. By this strategy, the number of applicants in the educational system of Debrecen continuously improving. Young school applicants understood our message, that is worth studying in Debrecen because here they can be in connection with companies like BMW, Continental, KRONES, Thyssenkrupp, National Instruments, TEVA, Richter and so on. Everyone knows that there is a tension in the labor market. We would like to win this competition during the education period. More students are in the city, more will be a number of skilled young applicants on the labor market in Debrecen. We can support this process by developing our educational system.
Schaeffler AG´s new hall inauguration in Debrecen site and Schaeffler Debrecen´s 20 years of existence were celebrated at the beginning of the year. A very modern 22 square meters building was constructed based on an 80-million-euro investment. How many jobs have you been able to provide by production of single and double row tapered roller bearings?
The company started production at his new Schaeffler AG factory in Debrecen in January. The 130-million-euro investment created 500 new jobs in the city and by this, the number of FAG employees reaches 1600. We have become one of the largest employers in the city thanks to this development.
Members of the Electric Vehicle Community inaugurate his first multi-standard lightning charger in Hungary in your city at the end of June. What effect has this event on the economic life?
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular in Debrecen and more and more people are using them. Therefore, a developed city needs to know the conditions of using electric cars. We installed the first electric charging station in the city 3 years ago, now 10 more are operating in different parts of the city and are planning to install more chargers next month. These electric chargers are important not just for their impact on economic life but also for their importance regarding the city's livability, the quality of life and environmentally friendly transport.
The outstanding results in sport, culture, and science are proof of the cities variability that visitor can experience, too. The city has been built and improved in the last decades that have been supported by people living here. What other goals do you have to create a better life conditions for people of Debrecen?
We summarize the complex economic and urban development program of the city in a New Főnix Plan. The size of the development program exceeds 200 billion forints. This is an ongoing project and is planning to finish in 2022. Parallel to this project we created the Debrecen 2030 project that we would like to start in 2020. In the field of culture, we are planning to renovate and establish a new theater. The Government accepted the Debrecen 2030 educational program in the last month that adding the necessary resources for the development of vocational and higher education in the automotive industry. We are planning meaningful transport developments in harmony with a changing structure of the city and by creating new public transport lines. The traffic in the city is growing in parallel with economic power, therefore, we are doing and planning a road network and transport hub improvements. Last, but not at least, we are planning the development of Debrecen International Airport as based on the existing traffic it seems that we outgrew our current infrastructure.
We also allow you to share with us some information that we usually have not asked. (There is a possibility to mention it in your answer.)
The international relations are very intensive in Debrecen. We have several twin towns, for example Brno in Czech Republic, Paderbornt in Germany or New Brunswick in USA, with which we share a close relationship in the field of sport, culture, and education. There are more and more international companies in our city. We take seriously “internationalization” and trying to help expats living here. A unique educational system, an International School of Debrecen (ISD), will operate in our city from September, which in the educational system of the city that is dating back half-decade can open new perspectives. The school will provide international education in which foreign and Hungarian students can participate, too. This institution represents high professional standards and by following international standards supports the effectiveness of education and satisfies the needs of all concerned (a family, company, an educator, accreditation organ).
Papp László - Biography:
I was born in 1972. I graduated in law from the Faculty of Law at the University of Miskolc in 1996. As an individual representative obtained a mandate by the support of Fidesz and became a part of the assembly of Debrecen city in 1998. I worked as a layer beside the representative work. Together with my wife, we established a layer office in 1999. My layer work was focused, firstly on civil, economic, and corporate law matters. There was a brake in my layer career in 2010. I started as a candidate in 4 local government elections between 1998 and 2010, by the successful results as I gained personal mandate in my constituency. I was working as a vice mayor, responsible for the city strategy and economic development between 2010 and 2014. I have been the mayor of Debrecen city since 2014.