“The increasing of wages does not impede competitiveness, just as it has previously been proven that economic growth and fiscal balance are also compatible”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Budapest at the Automotive Industry Conference.

The Minister stressed that the Government is also supporting the competiveness of the enterprises operating in Hungary to ensure that increasing wage expenditure does not represent an unsurpassable challenge for employers.

From among the Government’s measures he highlighted, amongst others, the reduction of social contributions tax, the up to 3 thousand euros in subsidies per employee, and the fact that the administration is facilitating workforce mobility with tax subsidies and undertaking 60 percent of the cost of establishing vocational training shops in the interests of reducing regional differences in workforce supply. In addition, the establishment of higher education university-industrial centres is also being accelerated: In Győr, Audi and the Széchenyi István University are cooperating with relation to vocational education, while in Kecskemét Mercedes is cooperating with several secondary level education institutions, he added.


Mr. Szijjártó stressed that the system of funding provided via individual government decrees has also changed in view of the fact that job creation is no longer the exclusive condition for receiving such support, in addition to which the Government is also promoting development projects that facilitate competitiveness, and since 2017 investment projects in the capital that include a research & development element are also eligible for funding.

The Minister welcomed the fact that automotive industry investment not only broke records with relation to the number of new investments and the industry’s investment and production values, but also brought a significant level of research & development activities to Hungary. As an example, he cited Audi, which will be manufacturing motors for its electric cars in Győr, and Continental, which is moving its artificial intelligence research division to Hungary.


“The performance of the Hungarian automotive industry has doubled since 2010 and quadrupled since 2000, and this is to a great extent thanks to the fact that we have succeeded in approaching full employment”, he added. Mr. Szijjártó also highlighted the fact that the world’s largest automotive industry engine manufacturer, the Audi plant in Győr, is establishing a research & development centre, Mercedes is building a second plant in Kecskemét, negotiations are ongoing with the owners of Opel with relation to the future of their Hungarian plant, and 45 out of the world’s largest first tier automotive industry suppliers have relocated significant capacities to Hungary.

According to the Minister, the automotive industry will shape the global economic era, the structure of which is currently being brought into being by the new industrial revolution, which is also referred to as digital transformation. In parallel, “Hungary is also standing in the gateway to a new era: instead of ‘Made in Hungary’, ‘Invented in Hungary’ is determining Hungary’s economic strategy, meaning that in addition to production capacities, there is also increasingly strong competition for research and development opportunities”, the Minister added.