Food retailer giant Aldi has established an IT service centre in Debrecen, which will play a significant role in the global activities of the German company, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Monday, 29 October in Debrecen.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the minister highlighted during the inauguration of the new office of Aldi International IT Services that the establishment of the IT service centre will create fifty highly skilled jobs. The state supported the 1.2 billion HUF investment with 120 million HUF.
The minister emphasized that the office will be crucial for the global operations of the German company, which already has around 160 stores in Hungary, a substantial logistics centre, and covers its entire network’s operations with green energy. From Debrecen, they will handle IT tasks required for the operation of the Aldi’s entire global network, which includes over 200,000 employees, more than 7,000 stores, and 80 logistics centres.
Szijjártó pointed out that the world has experienced crises in recent years, with news focusing on factory closures, unemployment, and corporate bankruptcies, and those working in the food retail industry can clearly see the effects of skyrocketing inflation and energy prices. ‘In these circumstances, we can be proud that while the global economic order has undergone two transformations in just four years, we, Hungarians, have been able to break our national economic and historical records with regard to the most important economic indicators,’ he stated. ‘But how is all this possible in a fundamentally negative, recessionary economic environment? It is possible by offsetting the negative global environment with the increasing pace of incoming investments,’ he believed.
Szijjártó pointed out that investments are the basis of growth and also help in the transformation of the economy. ‘When we talk about economic transformation, we are basically talking about how we can turn the Hungarian economy from a production-oriented economy into an innovation, knowledge-based, or research and development-based economy,’ he said. He then mentioned that in this regard, Hungary is ‘doing well,’ which is evident in the country’s tenth place on the world ranking list for the export of high-tech economic activities, while considering the population, Hungary ranks 95th. ‘This shows that the creativity and innovation capacity of the Hungarian people place us in a much more favourable position than where you would automatically rank a country of ten million,’ he said. He also noted that approximately 180,000 people work in the IT services sector in Hungary today. The sector’s performance reached 4 trillion HUF last year, marking a 19 per cent increase in one year, with an export value of approximately 1 trillion HUF.
The minister then considered the development in terms of the workforce, mentioning that in Hungary, there has been a 34 per cent increase in the number of students applying for information and communication programs over the past two years. The number of engineers engaged in research and development has doubled, and last year, 73 per cent more small and medium-sized enterprises reported product innovation than two years prior.
Péter Szijjártó also highlighted that Aldi continues to be the largest investor community in Hungary.
Bilateral trade turnover set a record last year, increasing by 67 billion euros, and there is a good chance of achieving the same result this year, as there has been a 10 per cent growth in volume so far.
According to Aldi’s statement on Monday, the Debrecen investment will create 50 jobs, and the company expects applications from young professionals and IT experts who speak languages from the region. Most of the new positions will allow remote work.
They added that Aldi International IT Services, established in 2018, provides IT support for the Aldi Süd corporate group, maintaining the IT systems of more than 4,000 European Aldi stores, 55 logistics centres, and office buildings. It provides business and administrative services, software development, offering almost 500 services in total, with over 700 employees.
According to their publicly available report, the company, headquartered in Biatorbágy in Hungary, generated nearly 3.4 billion HUF in net revenue in 2021 and over 6.1 billion HUF in 2022, mostly from foreign contracts. Meanwhile, their annual profit increased from almost 199 million HUF to 433 million HUF.