At a press conference on the 5th of September 2023, it was announced that phase I of the SME Park will be home to 18 companies in the Southern Economic Zone.

“Debrecen’s economic development has reached a milestone. There has been a lot of thought in recent years about the large-scale economic development of Debrecen, seemingly driven by large multinationals. In reality, the economic development of Debrecen is much more complex than it seems at first sight, as the large corporate sector and the small and medium-sized enterprise sector within the Debrecen economy need to develop in parallel,” Mayor of Debrecen László Papp said.

He stressed that this is why EDC Debrecen Urban and Economic Development Center was created with the three divisions that still define the company’s operation and the city’s economic development and urban development processes.

Accordingly, in the 2014-2020 EU development cycle, Debrecen has seen a very large inflow of working capital into the small and medium enterprise sector, given that the city has received more than HUF 90 billion in EU funding from GINOP. The university used roughly one-third of this amount, in accordance with the GINOP rules, and two-thirds, HUF 60 billion, plus its own resources, was used to develop the innovation capabilities of the SME sector, improve production efficiency and invest in investments, the Mayor said.

“Over the past few years, we have made significant progress in this area. We felt that building on the results of the last EU development cycle, we could try this process of SME economic development in another dimension. The idea was born to create the first SME park in Debrecen in the large industrial environment of the country,”  László Papp stressed.

He added that this is also a pilot programme, as they can investigate the interactions between the large, small and medium-sized enterprise sectors in a large industrial environment.

He recalled that the Debrecen City Council decided in the summer of 2021 to launch the programme on this 14-hectare site, but that an area of approximately 60 hectares is planned to be developed for SME investments in the Southern Economic Zone. He noted that 58 applications were received in a relatively short time for the first 14 hectares and that 18 companies will find a home in the first phase of the SME park. He added that thanks to the investors, more than HUF 13 billion will be invested, and 256 new jobs will be created in the first phase.

The process of developing infrastructure on the 18 plots of land that will be created has recently started, in line with the 18 investments. The first stage will be the construction of stormwater and sewerage networks. On the whole, small and medium-sized enterprises in Debrecen and the county will receive the same infrastructural and other conditions as large industrial investors, he underlined.

“At the last general assembly, it was mentioned that Debrecen is undergoing a very significant transformation. Industrial zones have been created on the western side of the city, linked to the motorway network, to take the traffic load off the city. The creation of SME parks will also seek to resolve the conflict that arises from the fact that businesses are located in residential areas in different parts of the city. These SME parks will allow these businesses to move from the eastern part of the city to the large industrial areas in the western part of the city,” he concluded.

MP László Pósán said that Debrecen’s achievements in recent years had earned the recognition of many and that the city was internationally ranked among the best places in the world to invest. He stressed that the innovations that Debrecen has already shown will now be enhanced by a new element, which will further strengthen the city, its economy and the job opportunities of its residents. He said that the SME park would strengthen the links between the city and the agglomeration and that the companies present here would also be able to compete in the international market.

Ferenc Kun, managing director of DIF (Debrecen Infrastructure Development Ltd.) said that most of the investors have already obtained building permits, and some are about to complete their investments. He believes that, despite the economic difficulties of the last few years, investors are still willing to invest.

Károly Balogh, president of the VOSZ Hajdú Bihar County Organisation, highlighted two key words representing entrepreneurs in Hajdú-Bihar County: generational change and innovation. He noted that Debrecen’s economy is booming, and this is an incredible challenge for entrepreneurs.

Tamás Szakály, commercial manager of Szakály 2000 Kft., said that today is a milestone not only in the life of the SME park but also in the life of their family business, which is 25 years old this year.

Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U