“The Hungarian economy has effectively reached the boundary of full employment, as a result of which knowledge-intensive investment projects based on research & development will play the leading role within the Hungarian economy in future”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the business forum held by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Budapest on Wednesday.

“Last year, 4.2 billion euros of capital arrived in Hungary last year within the framework of 98 major investment projects, and Hungarian exports exceeded 105 billion euros” he highlighted. “Investors from the United States are in second place in the rankings of investors in Hungary, following German investors; economic relations with the United States were already good in the past, but bilateral political relations have now caught up and are continuing to improve”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

According to the Minister, the Government has recognised that we can only calculate with a maximum of 5 million workers in Hungary, and accordingly they also amended the funding system for investments. “The Hungarian economy is preparing for a dimensional transition, and the emphasis has shifted to promoting R&D activities. The Hungarian economy must base further growth on the existing labour supply, and in future innovation and research & development must be greatly encouraged”, he added. “Hungary continues to count on future investments from the United States during this period”, he said.

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted that in recent years Hungary’s economic weight, and parallel to it that of the Visegrád Group (V4) countries, has greatly increased, and accordingly all suggestions that the Central European region is only a beneficiary of the European Union’s economy and does not contribute to the EU’s economic growth are “insulting”. “Foreign trade flow between the Visegrád Group countries and Germany exceeds bilateral trade between Germany and France by some 70 percent”, he highlighted.

“With relation to investments that receive state funding, creating new jobs is no longer the prerequisite for receiving funding, but rather the most important influencing factors are bringing in new technologies, facilitating research & development and promoting innovation”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out. “In the case of enterprises operating with the same number of staff, the decisive factor is which of them is capable of generating higher added value”, he highlighted. “Within the thus reorganised funding system, the administration is also able to provide financial support to investments that generate added value in the capital, something it was previously only able to do in economically less developed regions”, he pointed out.