“Magyar Manufaktúra”: Hungary’s Pharma Manufacturing Resurgence

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Hungary has long boasted a vibrant, skilled pharmaceutical industry that continues to attract the interest of local and multinational entities alike. This fact was highlighted today at the celebration of GlaxoSmithKline’s incorporation of new technologies and production units at its state-of-the-art Gödöllő Vaccine Facility on the outskirts of Budapest.

While GSK’s dynamic history in Hungary has long been apparent, this latest on-the-ground investment signifies a willingness to bet big on a country that is looking increasingly competitive as a pharmaceuticals manufacturing destination.

“For over 15 years in Hungary we have demonstrated that we are masters of our processes,” asserted Christopher Hunley, site director for GSK Biologicals. The new vaccine facility represents a 10 million euros investment that simultaneously reflects our ongoing commitment to Hungary and highlights the tangible benefits of the strategic partnership that we entered into with the Hungarian government,” he declared.

PharmaBoardroom's Roxane Höck meets Foreign & Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó at the opening of GSK's new facility

PharmaBoardroom’s Roxane Höck meets Foreign & Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó at the opening of GSK’s new facility

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, attended the opening ceremony to applaud GSK’s steadfast investment commitment and ongoing efforts. “Hungary needs to proactively compete for these sorts of investments,” he explained, crediting the signature of a strategic partnership between the state and GSK as a decisive pull factor in attracting GSK’s investment into Gödöllő. “We are already one of the most trusted countries in Europe for quality medicines fabrication… and possess all the right sorts of prerequisites to develop into a hub for innovation in which we can clearly demonstrate our real added value,” he proclaimed. His expectation is that the Gödöllő Vaccine Facility will serve as an important milestone down that path.

A renewed spirit of public-private collaboration appears to be driving investor confidence to altogether new heights. Britain’s Ambassador to Hungary, HE Iain Lindsay, drew attention to the fact that GSK’s decision represents the first big investment in pharma fabrication in recent years in which EU funding plays a very small part. This in itself suggests a emboldening of the business winds. “As a major British investor in the Hungarian market, GSK has established a solid and growing business thanks to a stable economy and supportive business context,” he analyses.

Hunley, himself echoes these sentiments. “I am really looking forward to witnessing everything that will arise from these continued collaborations and the progress that we can together realize… It is of immense satisfaction to be contributing to the sustainable future of this manufacturing site.” All in all, the benefits are far reaching: the not only will the project contribute to fresh job creation, but is estimated to result in a production capacity of some 130 million vaccines annually.

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