Budapest (MTI) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has said that there is no risk in connection with Hungary as far as the bank is concerned, the daily Magyar Hirlap said on Saturday.

The bank has so far invested 2.7 billion euros in 170 projects in the country, Antal Nikoletti, member of the board representing Hungary at the London-based credit institution, noted in an interview to the paper.

EBRD investments in Hungary are expected to focus on energy, energy security, infrastructure, and innovation, he said.

The bank and Hungarian government maintain good relations, he said.

Hungarian economic growth is among the highest in the European Union, he said, adding that financial stability in the country has strengthened significantly.

Such “Hungarian advantages” are prized by the EBRD, which is gradually becoming a global financial institution, he said.

Recently the bank’s deputy chairwoman, Betsy Nelson, visited Hungary and met Economy Minister Mihaly Varga. The most important subject of their discussions was what kind of investment opportunities lay in store in Hungary for the EBRD, Nikoletti said.

The bank expects Hungarian economic output will grow by 2.9 percent this year, 0.3 of a percentage point higher than its projection made in May. This reflects higher domestic consumption based on an improvement in the labour market and higher disposable wages, he said

The conversion into forints of foreign currency based loans has had a positive effect on the financial sector, Nikoletti said, adding that many households had also benefitted.

The jobless rate is declining in combination with low inflation and higher real wages, he said. In the meantime, energy security has also improved. Furthermore, a vital element is that Hungary has launched what is the most significant competitiveness programme for the SME sector in the whole of the European Union, the Hungarian representative said.


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