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Vodafone shooses Budapest as center for group's global subsidiaries

Hungary was chosen by British Vodafone as its service center for the group’s global subsidiaries, company announced Friday.

The center, which will be in the Hungarian capital, is part of Vodafone's three-year plan to strengthen the group's global effectiveness.

The Hungarian hub will mainly handle the financial affairs and transactions of group subsidiaries and also focus on business analysis and strategy, a statement by Vodafone said.

The services center, which will employ about 700 people when fully operational by 2009, is estimated to cost some 9 billion forints (US$48.7 million, EUR36.13 million), Chief Executive of Vodafone in Hungary Gyorgy Beck told reporters.

"This new center will serve all subsidiaries around the world," Beck said. "And we hope that this new operation will open new chances (for Hungary)."

Economic and Transport Minister Janos Koka said "foreign investors would increasingly believe in the Hungarian market."

In Hungary, there have been about 40 service centers set up by global businesses giving employment to 14,000 people, Koka said. He added that within the next four years the government planned to double the number of employees working for international companies establishing worldwide services in Hungary.

Vodafone said it picked Hungary based on the country's qualifications in the field of labor and its experiences with global service centers.

"We think that creating the services center in Hungary has obvious advantages," Vodafone Group Financial Director Andy Halford said in a statement.

"In cooperation with Hungary's government it is possible for Vodafone to operate more effectively and efficiently in a competitive environment," Halford said.