The investor friendly business environment of Hungary continues to attract leading name international companies. Benefits include competitiveness, high education levels of employees, an attractive place to live and not least the 9% corporate tax rate from 2017.
Irish companies can benefit from the advantages Hungary offers especially in high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors like ICT, electronics, automotive, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and precision tools, but also in more conventional areas like constriction materials and food processing. Hungary is helping lead the economic growth across the CEE region and is one of the top destinations in Europe for foreign direct investment.
In 2016 we were celebrating the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between Ireland and Hungary. Both Hungary and Ireland have entered the track of sustainable growth. In 2014-2015-2016, both countries have had an above-the EU-average GDP growth, and the outlook for 2017 and the years to come remain positive. We think this favourable macro-economic development serves as a good basis to expand again our bilateral economic relations, both in the field of trade and investments.
Major Irish investors in Hungary: CRH, CPL, Kingspan, Pannonia Ethanol, McHale, Maurice Ward Group and Grafton, etc. We hope that due to our favourable business environment and the investment promotion activity of our government we can attract more and more Irish investors to invest in Hungary.
Our perception is that Irish companies are satisfied with the Hungarian business environment. Many of them consider expanding their capacities which has a great value for us. Partnership with investors and potential investors is a national priority; special attention is paid to the needs of companies already settled in Hungary, and to the further improvement of the business climate.
We encourage Irish companies to benefit from the advantages Hungary can offer, especially in high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors like IT, electronics, automotive, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and precision tools, but also in more conventional areas like construction materials and food processing. SSCs and outsourcing centres take considerable share of the Hungarian economy and require a qualified workforce. In this regard, we would like to encourage additional Irish companies to consider Hungary when outsourcing.
The Hungarian born LogMeIn employs more than 100 in their business centre in Dublin and they are continuously growing. Beyond this there are a number of Hungarian SME-s in Ireland, mainly in the service sector, healthcare, software development, construction as well as in the retail industry.
Hungarian-Irish bilateral trade data also show a positive picture with growing turnover. According to the Hungarian statistics the Hungarian export to Ireland amounted to € 159,6 million, while our import reached € 484 million in 2017.