The government has allocated some 210 billion forints (EUR 580m) in development support to be received by 1,700 Hungarian companies, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said on Thursday.
Varga said on Facebook that the companies would get the support mainly to improve competitiveness and efficiency with the help of purchasing new technology and modern equipment to strengthen their digital development. A tender invited for research, development and innovation support dubbed Ginop Plus in mid-July attracted more interest than previously expected and “seeing that, we decided to make available the entire allocation of 200,000 billion forints”, Varga said.
In order to help the relaunch of the economy, the assessment of applications has been carried out in an accelerated procedure and decisions were made in two and a half months, he said. He added that Hungary would not wait for transfers to arrive from the European Union but payments to the companies would be advanced from the budget in an effort “to preserve our advantage in the relaunch”.
The Hungarian economy is expected to grow at the third fastest rate in the European Union this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed in its revised regional growth forecast. Accordingly, Hungary’s gross domestic product will increase by 7.6 percent this year, after a 5 percent decline in 2020.
The figure is in line with the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released on October 12, and exceeds the forecast published in the April WEO by 3.3 percentage points. With this rate, Hungary will only trail Ireland (13 percent) and Estonia (8.5 percent) within the European Union. According to the forecast, Hungary’s economy will grow by 5.1 percent in 2022 and by 3.8 percent in 2023.
The IMF has also confirmed its inflation forecast of 4.5 percent for this year, which would exceed last year’s rate by 1.2 percentage points. It put average the annual inflation for 2022 at 3.6 percent and for 2023 at 3.3 percent.