“The rise is to a large extent due to an improvement technological readiness (an increase in technology take-up by firms from a low level — from 135th to 109th on firm-level technology absorption — and significant increases in Internet take-up by individuals, from 73 percent of the population in 2015 to 79 percent in 2016),” the WEF said in the index’s 2017-2018 edition. “In addition, business executives are reporting improvements in the development of financial markets as well as the business and innovation environment,” it added. Hungary’s overall index score was 4.3 on a scale of 1-7, with 7 being the best score. The country scored 3.5 for the institutions component of the index, 4.4 for infrastructure, 5.1 for macroeconomic environment and 5.6 for health and primary education.
Economy Minister: Hungary has done “serious work”
Commenting on a fresh World Economic Forum (WEF) report, Hungarian Economy Minister Mihály Varga said that “not only has Hungary seen an improvement in its sovereign ratings, but its competitiveness ranking is also on the rise”. Varga, who is part of a Hungarian delegation visiting Singapore, said the WEF had registered “serious advances” in its financial and capital market institutions, reflecting the past few years of “serious work, which has made the environment a lot more helpful and stable”.
Hungary’s banks are now in a far more stable position compared with previous years, thanks to agreements the government has struck with international institutions such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and domestic players to find the most stable way to operate the banking system. He insisted that several positive changes had not yet appeared in the WEF report, so it is expected that Hungary will continue to make steps forward in the competitiveness rankings. Like Singapore, Hungary is performing well in terms of its “start-up culture”, and the country is among the most advanced in this area in central and eastern Europe, he said.