A 5 thousand square metre modern production hall built with the help of funding provided within the framework of the New Széchényi Plan was inaugurates on Friday within the Szolnok factory unit of Irish agricultural machine manufacturer McHale Hungária Limited. The new facility is designed to enable the development o the company's production technology and was constructed at a total cost of HUF 936.5 million (EUR 3 million); the level of EU funding was 50 percent.

"This new investment means the realisation of state-of-the-art production technology here in Szolnok, in the middle of Hungary's Great Plain, and all projects that create new jobs and a culture of industry are extremely important because they also provide strength to rural Hungary", Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas said at the inauguration ceremony.

The Hungarian State contributed 50 percent of the cost fo the almost one billion forint project, which also indicates that the Government is committed to developing industry and to supporting successful enterprises, he added.

DownloadPhoto: Csaba PelsőczyMr. Fazekas also said that the latest investment and McHale's operations in Hungary so far also contribute to the further reinforcement of already excellent Irish-Hungarian relations.

The Minister also pointed out that Hungarian agriculture was capable of increasing its production by 30 percent over the course of the past four years, a historic accomplishment. The output of the Hungarian agricultural machine industry has also increased in correlation with this with production equipment trade turnover increasing by 15 percent last year, while 17 percent more money was invested in purchasing new machinery. In the interests of maintaining these favourable processes, the Government launched tenders worth a total of HUF 85 billion last year for the purchasing of machinery and technological equipment, he added.

Mr. Fazekas stressed that the global agricultural machine market is continuously growing, with market growth of 5.5-6-0 percent forecast for this year, but the level of growth in Hungary far exceeds this figure, with 2000 new tractors sold in 2013 according to a survey by the Hungarian Association of Agricultural Machine Distributors (MEGFOSZ).

The company's owner, Padriac McHale, explained that the Irish company, which specialises in baling and bale wrapping machinery, acquired the assets of Hungary's former state agricultural machinery production company Mezőgép in 2004. They have since been successful in the international competition, winning the "Business of the Year" award in 2010.

The McHale Group exports its baling products to 47 countries on five continents. The development of the factory in Szolnok is clearly indicated by the fact that the turnover of 1.1 billion forints recorded in 2005 was successfully increased to 9.02 billion forints (EUR 29 million) by 2012. The new five thousand square metre production hall enables the stabilisation of 160 existing workplaces and the creation of 60 direct and 30 indirect new jobs.

(MTI, Press Office of the Ministry of Rural Development)