There is a paradigm shift under way in the Hungarian economy, as part of which the focus is shifting from production to high added-value jobs, services, research and development, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated on Monday in Brussels at a roundtable discussion about health care innovation held at the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the European Union.

Péter Szijjártó said “it is important to move the Hungarian economy from the era of ‘Made in Hungary’ to the era of ‘Invented in Hungary’”. He added that the Hungarian government had adopted the necessary decisions so that instead of the number of jobs, emphasis should be shifted towards the technological standards represented by jobs. He pointed out that the goal of Hungarian economic policy is to create in Hungary as many jobs producing a high added value as possible. This also means that instead of focusing on production, it places the emphasis on research and development. The Hungarian government has adopted and continues to adopt a number of measures in order to create an innovation ecosystem that is able to adapt to global challenges and enhances the country’s competitiveness, the Minister stated. To this end, it has changed the grant system in order to provide priority government funding for businesses which introduce new technologies in Hungary.

Hungary is providing priority grants for technology-intensive projects as well as for businesses investing in research and development. Hungary wishes to become an ideal research and development venue, and would like to offer the most attractive and most advantageous investment environment in Europe, he highlighted. In his words, Hungary has the lowest taxes in Europe, with a 9 per cent corporation tax and a 15 per cent personal income tax, and so the activities and ongoing development of businesses are also boosted by a single-digit corporation tax which is unique on the continent. With the reduction of the social contribution tax, companies could use the money so saved for developments, he pointed out. Mr Szijjártó also highlighted that while based on its population figure Hungary is globally ranked 92nd, it has the 34th highest export figure. At the same time, based on its pharmaceutical exports it is ranked 18th, he added.