“We must prepare for the new age, not defend ourselves against it”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Thursday at a ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on digital innovation in Paris.

In his speech, Mr. Szijjártó spoke about the fact that there is a huge global change going on in the world, and the application of new technologies is a prerequisite to the success of all national economies. “This is particularly true in the case of small countries that do not have significant natural resources”, he continued.

While stressing the responsibility of governments, he cited the modernisation of education systems as a primary task with relation to both secondary schools and higher education, so that students possess skills with which they can be competitive on the job market.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade pointed out that wages increase with relation to a higher level of knowledge, and this process is already underway in Hungary. He stressed that it is the government’s duty to keep wage increases in check, because otherwise the country’s competitiveness will decrease, and it will be less attractive to investors.

He also stated that the tax burdens of enterprises that produce high added value goods and introduce highly developed technologies must be continuously reduced, thanks to which they can save money, from which they can in turn realise developed investment projects that apply digital technologies. He noted that the countries of Central Europe are setting an excellent example with their low taxes.

Mr. Szijjártó explained that governments no longer have to promote the creation of new jobs to such an extent, but rather the development of existing ones, since digitalisation, robot technology and automation inevitably require less labour, but more highly trained workers. “For precisely this reason the Hungarian Government supports the internal workforce training activities and training courses of enterprises to enable them to have employees who can cope with the challenges of the new age”, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.