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Chinese chemical firm resurrects Hungarian enterprise

(People's Daily Online)    14:39, September 26, 2018

A worker checking the equipment in BorsodChem

A company from China has acquired a Hungarian enterprise, turning the Hungarian business on the verge of bankruptcy into a top local enterprise, highly praised by locals for bringing tangible benefits.

The state-owned Wanhua Industrial Group, a high-tech enterprise focusing on innovation in chemical materials, acquired BorsodChem, the largest chemical company in Kazincbarcika, Hungary, in 2011 in a deal worth 1.26 billion euros ($1.5 billion), at a time when Hungary was suffering the fallout of an economic downturn.

With the acquisition, the BorsodChem Industrial Park changed its name to the China-Hungary BorsodChem Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone.

The newly-acquired enterprise began to make up the deficit, and in 2014 started to make profits, achieving a profit of over 400 million euros in 2017, ranking among Hungary's top five enterprises.

The Chinese enterprise won high praise from locals, as it saved more than 3,000 jobs at BorsodChem through integration and upgrading of technology.

The livelihoods of many people in the town, which has a population of less than 30,000, are closely related to BorsodChem. Without Wanhua, several thousand families would have lost their primary source of income, said an employee who has worked with the company for 20 years.

Local media commented that the Hungarian enterprise, almost forgotten by locals, is fast becoming one of the country's most profitable enterprises.

The International Financial Review also chose the acquisition of Wanhua as the best acquisition project of the year in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

BorsodChem’s development has brought tangible benefits to locals. For example, the company pays more than 3 million euros in business tax each year to the village where it is based, said Liu Junchang, general manager of BorsodChem.

Additionally, the company supports local research and education in multiple ways and has created cultural and educational exchange opportunities between China and Hungary.

It promoted the establishment of the third Confucius Institute of Hungary at the University of Miskolc, and a cooperative education mechanism between the university and Beijing University of Chemical Technology. The cooperation trains in languages and technical talents for the enterprise’s future development.

Due to such contributions, the cooperation zone received the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Hungary Award in 2012 and the Chinese-Hungarian Friendship Award in 2013.

This Chinese acquisition is significant for Chinese enterprises trying to enter the European market further, said Liu, adding that Wanhua, relying on its existing advantages, is willing to aid more Chinese enterprises seeking development in Europe. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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