The government commissioner, János Lázár, announced a protectionist policy in order to save and revive the Hungarian food industry. Besides supporting the Hungarian-owned manufacturing industry, the government’s plans include the displacement of multinational retail companies.
Within the framework of the online event of the Agricultural Sector Conference 2020 organised by the Portfolio Group, the government commissioner, János Lázár pointed out that
time has come to redesign the Hungarian countryside and agriculture.
According to the politician, as a result of the pandemic, the whole world has learned a lesson about the importance of independence. If borders have to be closed and goods and people cannot move freely, the significance and the ability of self-sufficiency increase. He also highlighted that
the government’s plans also include the displacement of foreign retail chains,
which requires an openly protectionist policy and an offensive approach, because the establishment of the Hungarian national retail is essential. “An important question in the current situation is whether EU funds can be blocked for political reasons. And the answer is no. These are not benefits, but allowances.” – said the politician, adding that he was not making his point for a Hungary outside the European Union.
The Fidesz politician stated that the countryside and agriculture are the two areas that did not win during the change of regime nor during the accession to the EU – reported by 24.hu. According to János Lázár, today Hungary is a vehicle country, because 50% of GDP comes from the automotive industry.
“Despite the change of regime and the two cycles of EU agricultural financing, Hungarian agriculture is lagging behind. We are a country exporting raw materials and importing finished products.” Therefore, to improve the situation in agriculture, it is necessary to consolidate into cooperatives, following the Polish pattern, or “strengthen the Hungarian processing industry so that Hungarian raw materials are processed by Hungarian companies, packaged by Hungarian companies and sold in Hungarian shops.”
János Lázár emphasised that the next ten years are the last chance to establish a strong, self-sufficient agriculture, modern processing industry and food production in Hungary. Accordingly,
within ten years, the government aims to see 80% of the food produced and processed in Hungary on the shelves of the shops.
Previously, we could see a similar process when Hungarian companies took over the outgoing foreign chains. Dozens of grocery stores fell into national hands in 2012, when the French Delhaize Group withdrew the Match and Profi stores from the Hungarian-owned CBA and Coop – reported by Magyar Nemzet.
Hungarian companies support the newly introduced plans
because they consider it timely to strengthen the domestic products and supply chain industries against import vulnerability – reported by the news portal.
Source: 24.hu; magyarnemzet.hu