Foreign minister: Hungary aims to foster region’s best investment environment
Budapest, May 3 (MTI) – Hungary aims to foster the region’s best investment environment by creating the most efficient way to link production through digitization, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign affairs and trade minister, said on Wednesday. Further, it aims to provide the most competitive base for research and development, he added.
Amid the current turning point for the global economy, the success of Hungary’s open economy depends on whether it can provide an appropriate digital abode and tax environment, the minister told a meeting of the Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists.
The challenge on the stretched labour market can be met thanks to government job-training subsidies calculated on the basis of the number of trainees and talks with the confederation are under way to increase the maximum subsidy to 4,000 euros from 3,000 while raising the training period to two years from 18 months.
The car industry and the transition to new technology continue to play leading roles in Hungary’s economy, he said, adding that a major announcement would soon be made in the field of electromobility. Several development centres are being set up for autonomous vehicles in Hungary and special attention is being paid to expanding the base of Hungarian suppliers, he added.
Discussing global trends, the minister said America’s more patriotic economic policy would determine global economic developments and adjustments should be made accordingly, taking into consideration the more than 9 billion dollars of US investments in Hungary. The other major factor is China’s constant expansion which is “seriously influencing” Europe’s competitiveness, Szijjarto said. Capital is moving not only from west to east but the other way round too, and Far-East companies are increasingly searching for production potential in Europe, he said.
On the subject of Brexit, Szijjártó termed Britain’s exit from the EU as a “huge failure” which, he said, shows that certain reforms and changes are needed in integration. He said the “nightmare scenario” would be for European negotiators to take Brexit as a personal insult, since this would mean that the UK would forge separate free-trade agreements with strong economic players around the world with which the EU has no such deals. For an open economy such as Hungary’s, this would be extremely detrimental, he said.