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A Good Location for Swiss Business

Swiss companies fully integrated into the Hungarian business environment

Earlier this year, two Swiss companies announced that they had chosen Hungary to invest in: Sensirion is establishing its first European production site outside Switzerland in Debrecen, while Flisom chose Kecskemét for the location of its first plant of industrial capacity.

As the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in Budapest, István Kocsis explains to Diplomacy&Trade, Sensirion and Flisom are both spin-off companies of the Zurich based Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich). They are highly innovative companies, representing the top technology level of their sectors.

A world leader in Debrecen
Sensirion used to call itself “the largest start-up of Switzerland.” Nevertheless, it has become a worldwide leading company in digital micro sensors and systems. Its research, development and production units are located in Switzerland but the company realized that there is a worldwide demand for components, which include their core products. From next year, Debrecen will become a base for the assembling of these components. The Hungarian authorities managed to convince Sensirion of Debrecen’s qualities, and the city had been chosen among several other locations in the region.
István Kocsis believes that with László Ábrahám, the former CEO of a large multinational manufacturer, Sensirion found a very experienced leader for their Hungarian operation and they are ready to create 50 jobs.

Flisom extending production capacities to Hungary
Flisom develops cutting-edge technology in the field of solar energy. In cooperation with its partners, Flisom has developed a solar film, which does not rely on heavy glass modules. It enables new implementation fields for the
generation of solar energy. After the successful start of a production line in Switzerland, the company decided to extend its production capacities and has chosen Hungary as its second production base after Switzerland.
They had to choose from among several Hungarian locations and finally decided to establish a manufacturing base in Kecskemét, creating about 140 new jobs in the area. This marks a very important step for Flisom in order to supply customers in a larger scale.

Over 800 Swiss investors
Figures by the Hungarian Statistical Office suggest that there are more than 800 Swiss investors offering about 29,000 jobs in Hungary. “We do, of course, not know each of these companies, but we know that most of them are very satisfied with the business location and are continuously increasing their activities. Subsidiaries of Swiss companies are fully integrated into the Hungarian business environment, since they are very often led by local managers. The trust in their local management is one reason why tensions can often be solved within the national framework,” the Deputy Head of Mission highlights.

Keeping regular contact
As to what kind of assistance Swiss firms already here require from the Embassy and what kind of information/help is solicited by would-be investors, István Kocsis points out that “Swiss companies usually act very much independently from the Swiss authorities and usually do not involve us as a site location assistance. However, the Embassy of Switzerland offers publicly accessible information about the Hungarian business environment. Besides publishing our annual economic reports and business guides, we are, of course, also available for individual consultations if required. From time to time, companies turn to the Embassy to ask for support in a variety of issues. For instance, very often companies would like to share their ceremonial events with the official representation of their home country, but there are also cases, when companies ask us for assistance, we examine all possibilities and try to find a solution. Most of the Swiss companies are also members of the Swiss-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce (Swisscham Hungary) where they can exchange information among one another, the Hungarian authorities and our Embassy. I strongly believe that this is a very important platform to keep regular contact and to enhance the flow of information within our business community and the Embassy.”

Sándor Laczkó

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