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Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy on Wednesday met the executives of Chinese battery maker CATL to discuss the state of the global battery industry, Hungary’s position on the global market and the company’s planned plant in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, the ministry said. The meeting in Budapest was attended by CATL VP Chen Junwei, CATL strategic planning head Lórád Dióssi and Wang Yanyun, the general manager of China Construction Bank Hungary. CATL is the world’s largest EV battery maker with a 37% global market share, the ministry said in a statement. The construction of its plant in Debrecen, the country’s biggest greenfield investment, is ongoing, with test production set to start in early 2025, it added. At the talks, Nagy emphasised that car and battery production were clearly the driving force of the Hungarian economy. Electric vehicles are the future of the auto industry, he said, arguing that there was not sustainable car production without battery production. CATL’s investment will therefore contribute both to boosting high value-added economic output and job protection, the ministry said. Battery production is an integral part of the Hungarian economy, with the sector set to see more than 6,300 billion forints (EUR 16.3bn) worth of developments in the coming years, creating 20,000 jobs, Nagy said. Hungary is set to become the fourth-biggest battery maker in the world, after China, the US and Germany, with a capacity of 250 GWh, enough to meet 35% of demand in Europe, he said.