Hungary may get truly successful provided confidence prevails in more and more facets of daily life, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at a conference on economic competitiveness, organized by the Ministry for National Economy (NGM). The conference focuses on the SME strategy which is being written jointly by the NGM and the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Minister pointed out.

“We are looking at the best examples to enable us to become the best examples,” Mihály Varga said was the main message of the event. The Minister said that -- as chairman of Hungary’s National Competitiveness Council -- he considered it especially important to provide domestic enterprises with first-hand knowledge of the key conclusions and insights of the upcoming strategy, a joint project by the OECD and the NGM.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry for National Economy

The special guests of the conference were OECD Acting Chief Economist Alvaro Pereira and Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President László Parragh.

In his analysis of the negative effects of the 2008 global economic crisis on Hungary, the Minister said the country had to undergo a positive trend reversal which then enabled the economy to recover from the crisis but which also strengthened it in the long term. “We were working in the strong faith that the remedy we were administering would finally take effect, and the economic ills were curable,” he noted. The crisis management strategy the Government applied, which used to be seen as extraordinary by many, has by now delivered the economic results the country has long been waiting for. These results have also helped restore the country’s international economic positon after 2013, the Minister stated.

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Since 2015, Mihály Varga added, the NGM has initiated the elaboration and implementation of a number of strategies and agreements which were designed to boost Hungary’s long term competitiveness. Of these, the Minister mentioned the country’s industrial strategy, based on Western European models, and the establishment of the National Competitiveness Council.

The Minister said one of the most important steps had been the signing of the wage agreement in November 2016.  This deal could finally be completed, after a series of heated negotiations, as social partners, employer and employee organizations and Government officials had come to trust each other, he emphasised.

(Ministry for National Economy)