Hungary beat Slovakia to secure the R&D project behind Jaguar Land Rover’s new technical engineering center in Budapest, it has been revealed.
Hungary signed an investment memorandum with the British car manufacturer three years ago to produce Land Rover Discovery models in Hungary. The first models were produced at the Nyitra factory at the end of October and will be exported to 170 countries around the world.
Sources say the success of this project has led to further investment in the country.
“The Hungarian tax policy was an important decision-making factor. The corporate tax is the lowest in Hungary and in Europe; and companies can also benefit from diverse tax incentives related to research and development and the high-level Hungarian technical education,” said Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Hungary’s win over Slovakia is a big coup, considering the government is focusing its efforts on developing the country’s research and development arm.
According to Mandiner, following their defeat, the Slovak Court of Auditors analyzed how much resources had been allocated to R&D and how effectively they have been used to see how they can improve the potential of the country in the future.
Data released by Eurostat show Hungary is performing better than Slovakia in many fields. R&D investment in Hungary is much higher than in Slovakia, so the number of patents per million inhabitants and the full-time equivalent (FTE) are also far greater.
One of the most important indicators of the quality of a country's research is its ability to join the Horizon 2020 program, which requires a higher level of scientific achievement. Slovakia has achieved only 0.9 euros invested per thousand euro of GDP and that is far below the EU average, whereas in Hungary 1.5 euros is invested per thousand euro of GDP.
“The problem for Slovakia is that it has no single strategy for R&D investment, despite the fact that in the past ten years there has been 14 strategic documents developed focusing on the matter,” Mandiner points out.