Volvo, Ericsson, IKEA, ABB and Electrolux may be among the better known Swedish companies internationally but in fact there are approaching 200 Swedish firms in Hungary and they employ some 17,000 people, with 40 of them having more than 50 staff. Now they can be found in the new “Sweden Hungary Business Guide”.
These companies are active in all the major sectors of the Hungarian economy, and the Embassy of Sweden has for the first time mapped and evaluated their business presence in the new publication, which was released in December.
The five companies named above have been on the Hungarian market for many years, and so have many other Swedish small- and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the business guide high-lights popular brands such as Spotify, Skype and Minecraft, which many people do not realise also originate from the Scandinavian country.
The embassy’s aim is to introduce all these companies operating in Hungary so as to highlight their economic weight and to attract more businesses in future. As Ambassador Niclas Trouvé put it at the joint launch of the guide with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), the motto is “Made by Sweden in Hungary by Hungarians”, since the guide also intends to stress the efforts locals make to turn Swedish business investments into success stories.
“The book allows municipalities, government bodies and Hungarian businesses to gain an insight as to what our companies have to offer,” Trouvé said.
Levente Magyar, state secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said: “Hungary is just reaching a stage where we need to start adopting a similar mindset that prevails in the Scandinavian state.
“Our model should be tailored to the Swedish one that, due to limited natural resources, relies on an ability for continuous self-reinvention.”
Magyar praised the publication, saying it shows that Hungary is on the right track towards adopting Swedish work ethics.
Márta Böddi, office manager of Business Sweden in Hungary, added: “There is a lot more to Swe-dish companies than IKEA. Skype, Spotify, Minecraft or Thule, to name but a few examples, also originate from there, and many key sectors such as automotive, ICT, energy or retail have large Swedish corporations that deliver great performance. Think of Electrolux or H&M.”
HIPA president Róbert Ésik agreed that Hungary’s goal is the same as that of Sweden: quality should receive priority ahead of quantity, a principle that should also apply to investments.
“Along these lines, intensified R&D efforts by any foreign firm in Hungary are going to be eligible for special funds available from 2017 on,” he noted.