BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT
Debrecen is the centre of trade and business for centuries and this flourishing and dynamic cooperation of the city and economy is established on a number of different strata: education and knowledge economy, local administration, and investors and business partners combine forces to generate a local economy that is defined and established on a regional level and on a high standard of professionalism. As the economic and trade centre of north-eastern Hungary, Debrecen houses more than 20% of the enterprises in the region and more that half of the registered university students of the region study in the University of Debrecen. Nevertheless, the roles and functions of the city have changed considerably recently as a result of the regional administrative and industrial innovations (e.g. Regional Court of Appeal).
Though previously Debrecen was famous for its handicraft and food industry, nowadays it is the home of a number of internationally renowned and outstanding companies, such as the 500 years old Alföld Press Zrt., TEVA Zrt., a pharmaceutical factory and a distinctive place of medical innovations, and FAG Hungary Kft. which is the primary supplier of several of the greatest car and other vehicle factories in Europe.
The most important factors of these recently launched innovations that are part of a systematic, long-term plan of economic development are the industrial parks of the city. Debrecen houses 4 industrial parks and a 5th one is under construction: 2 are owned by the local government, one belongs to the University of Debrecen and one is supervised by an association of private enterprises. The most prestigious one is the Regional and Innovative Industrial Park which was established in 1997 – 60% of the companies operating here are recently founded ones, and this proves excellently the enormous economic and investment powers that Debrecen enhances, invites and hosts.
The excellent circumstances created by the city in these industrial areas called the attention of major foreign companies as well: the American National Instruments Kft. which is specialised in electronics established its first units in the city in 2000. Moreover, since 2006 the European Distribution Centre, which moved here from the Netherlands, also operates here, therefore Debrecen is the direct distributional connection to practically all American, European and to some Asian customers.
At the same time the last decades showed the most rapid and remarkable development in the fields of trade and service industry. The first chain store to open its gates was METRO in 1995, which was followed by the Malompark Mall in 1998 including Interspar, Media Markt and Praktiker. Also in that year Debrecen Plaza with its exclusive stores and various facilities of entertainment was opened, and in 1999 TESCO and in 2002 CORA joined this process. In this period a high number of specific stores were opened in the western part of the city, such as Baumax, Diego, Electroworld, Euronics, TTL, whereas a number of smaller chain stores, such as Match, Marks & Spencer, Penny Market, Plus, Rossmann, Spar, also awaits their customers.
Moreover, the extended industrial and investment sector is supported by a rather strong bank system which includes all major bank companies in Europe which serve and deal with individual and professional financial cases and requests on a high level.
One of the foundations of the industrial and commercial success of the city is the immense potential lying in the intellectual capital which is exploited by the recently established companies specialised in high-level international service industry. Thousands of skilled, highly qualified and productive workers are employed by IT Services Hungary, BT, Ygomi Europe and Gem Hungary.
The systematic and pre-planned nature of Debrecen’s economy is symbolised by the Vagyonkezelő Zrt. (since 2000) which is the summit organ of the unified corpse of the city’s public utilities such as Airport Debrecen Kft., Cívis Ház Zrt., Debrecen Önkormányzati Lapkiadó Kft., Debreceni Hőszolgáltató Zrt., Regional and Innovative Industrial Park, Debrecen Local Television Kft., Debreceni Vízmű Zrt., DKV Debreceni Közlekedési Zrt., DV Info Kft., Friss Radio Kft., Debrecen Sport Pool, DEHIR Kft. This unification resulted in a highly organised and very effective institution which reached the considerable reduction of the prices of these public services and the profit of the company increased at the same time.