“The government is ready to protect the results of the Hungarian economy, and to preserve the growth advantage it has achieved within the European Union, with economic policy measures”, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga said on Tuesday in Budapest at the economic year-opener held by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Minister said the most important tasks include the further expansion of economic policy margins, the continuation and acceleration of competitiveness measures, the enforcement of the six-year tax and wage agreement, and attracting investors.

He also spoke about the fact that in the long term, the coronavirus epidemic could have greater economic repercussions than human effects, adding that the epidemic’s economic reorganisation effect could be partly advantageous to the Hungarian economy via low raw material prices, but it is too soon to say what will be on the losses side.

Mr. Varga said the government is also prepared to intervene to assist the private sector if the need arises. “We would like consumption, wage outflow and capital inflow to spur on the economy this year”, the Finance Minister explained.

Mr. Varga pointed out that the results achieved by the Hungarian economy in recent years, including the highest rate of growth in the region since 2016, the results of policies aimed at reducing external debt, the realisation of stable fiscal policy and the inflow of significant working capital, represent a buffer to the Hungarian economy with respect to external effects.

The Minister of Finance highlighted the fact that there is continuous reorganisation ongoing within the global economy between the United States, China and the European Union, and the European community is falling behind in this competition within certain areas such as the automotive industry and smart phones.

With relation to the economic effects of the coronavirus, Mr. Varga said that it has initially had a sensitive effect on tourism, airlines, the hospitality industry and trade; stock market prices are falling and the price of oil is decreasing, but it is yet impossible to assess its precise effect.