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Digitization Is a Must in Economic and Social Development

Hungary Today 2023.09.06.

Digital technology has become indispensable for the economy. The government’s strategy to 2030 aims to make Hungary one of the top ten countries in the EU in terms of digital economic and social development. However, much progress is still needed, reports Magyar Nemzet.

The effective use of digital solutions has become a prerequisite for economic competitiveness. The COVID epidemic has further reinforced the importance of digitization, and the need to tackle the crisis and boost business performance has increased the demand for state-of-the-art ICT (Information and Communication Technology). The economic changes that have taken place have been the starting point for the digital transformation of the European Union and the digital decade ahead, as announced for 2030. In light of this, it is worth taking a look at how Hungarian businesses are faring in this area.

Internet connectivity and virtual presence are now indispensable for the day-to-day running of companies.

The Central Statistical Office’s data show that last year, 95% of Hungarian businesses used the internet, but only 65% had their own website.

This is significantly below the EU average and one of the lowest in the EU.

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87% of the companies concerned provided information about their products and services on their website, and 29% made it possible to buy or book them through their website. According to a survey last year,

21% of domestic businesses generated at least one percent of their turnover from e-commerce, while 20% of all turnover was generated through e-commerce.

Both figures were slightly above the EU average. Among the Visegrád countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia generated a higher share of their total turnover through e-commerce than Hungary, 30% and 23% respectively, while Poland generated 17%.

The so-called DESI indicator (Digital Economy and Society Index) tracks progress towards the EU’s 2030 digital transformation targets. It measures the extent to which digital technologies are embedded in business activities.

It shows that the digital readiness of Hungarian firms is significantly below the EU average. Last year’s report ranked Hungary 25th among Member States.

It also showed that the digital intensity and take-up of advanced technologies by domestic businesses is extremely low. For example, only 2.9% of businesses used an AI-based technology in 2021, just over a third of the EU average. Moreover, only 3.2 percent of firms plan to use them in the future.

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However, the statistical office’s summary also finds that the use of artificial intelligence is much more widespread in some sectors. For example,

21 percent of businesses in the information and communication sector, and 13 percent in the energy sector use or plan to use AI.


Despite Hungary’s lag, the ICT sector is playing an increasingly important role in the national economy. Among others, it includes a significant share of the electronics industry, wholesale trade in information technology and communication equipment, software publishing, telecommunications, and information technology services. The sector had 44,000 businesses in 2021, up two and a half percent from a year earlier.

The National Digitization Strategy 2022-2030 targets that Hungary will be among the top ten countries in terms of digital economic and social development. It is built around four pillars: digital infrastructure, digital skills, digital economy, and digital state. To achieve this, it has defined indicators such as:

  • 95 percent of households covered by a gigabit-capable network and 5G coverage to 67 percent
  • increase regular internet use among 16-74 year olds to 95% in the digital literacy area
  • one third of enterprises should use integrated business processes
  • the share of eGovernment users should reach 90%.
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Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured image via Pixabay

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