“The Hungarian and Bavarian governments are thinking along the same lines while planning to renew their economies and improve their competitiveness”, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics stated in Budapest on 8 November, following a meeting with Edmund Stoiber to discuss future innovation challenges initiated by the former Bavarian Minister President.

The Minister pointed out that the leaders of the two states have committed themselves at the highest level to boosting Hungarian-German cooperation. “One of the priority areas with relation to tightening economic relations is research & development and innovation, and a bilateral working group was established this spring to map common opportunities. According to an IMF survey on the production systems of various countries, Hungary and Germany are at the same level, which indicates that today we are not only bringing highly-developed technology to Hungary and applying it here, but are also capable of developing it further”, Mr. Palkovics, explained.

“From among the states of Germany, Hungary has traditionally maintained the most dynamic foreign trade relations with Bavaria. The 150 Bavarian enterprises currently operating in Hungary have found a good home here and have realised some 8 billion euros in investment, creating 50 thousand workplaces. Last year, BMW’s plant construction project in Debrecen, which is moving forward at a good pace, joined the ranks of investment projects that represent the highest level of technology”, he continued.

“This autumn, the Bavarian government launched a technological offensive, and the goal of the 2-billion-euro high-tech programme is to modernise the state technologically and place it onto a new development trajectory. The fundamental pillars of the broad strategy are artificial intelligence (AI), the development of mobile networks, the reinforcement of higher education, and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises”, the Minister stated.

Mr. Palkovics declared that these main directions are also determining the economy protection efforts of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology. “The Hungarian government is handling the proliferation of AI and the introduction of 5G as factors that fundamentally determine the prospects and opportunities available to the Hungarian economy. There are strategies being developed for these areas with the involvement of private sector representatives and professional organisations, which include proposals for concrete measures. The Ministry is placing universities that are prepared to cooperate with private sector enterprises, and which are becoming competitive in international comparison, at the centre of its innovation and research & technology efforts”, he explained. “The strategy aimed at promoting the change in business structure of small and medium-sized businesses, and their green and high-tech renewal, was presented by the Ministry just a few days ago”, the Minister added.