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Located in the east of the country – across Hajdú-Bihar, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok, and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties – and bordering with Ukraine and Romania, the main cities of this administrative division include Debrecen, Szolnok and Nyíregyháza. The second largest region of Hungary, its share of agriculture is more than double the national average, at 9.9 per cent of the GDP. There is a diversified manufacturing structure, developed educational and research capacities and several innovative clusters with relatively significant R&D expenditures. Registering 894 FDI-supported enterprises, employing 33,319 people, the region has a GDP of €5,624 per capita, at 41.3 per cent the EU average.

Key sectors include automotives, machinery and rail vehicles; agricultural machinery and food industries; ICT and electrics-electronics; chemicals, pharmaceuticals and optomechatronics. The food industry is centred around wheat, maize, vegetables, fruits and poultry, while tourism holds a 25.1 per cent share of international arrivals. The relative high weight of self-employment accounts for a high number of registered companies (272,998), 15 per cent of the country’s total, while there are several large innovative foreign companies, including Electrolux, Teva, Samsung, Lego and Michelin.

Potential for growth lies in the region’s developed higher education organisations, specialisation in the pharmaceutical industry and its spas and tourism, with a beneficial location that would support growth.

There has been substantial investment in transport infrastructure, which has promoted an increase in foreign investment, while Debrecen has an airport, a nearby business park and a Logistic Centre for Multimodal Communal Transportation. There are 34 industrial parks, 293 research centres, a range of clusters operating on industry-university cooperation and a strong concentration (70 per cent) of innovation activities in Hajd-Bihar county.