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Hungary Maintains Position in IMD Competitiveness Rankings

Csenge Schőnviszky 2020.06.17.

Hungary is still internationally competitive in spite of the pandemic, the finance ministry said, citing the Swiss IMD Competitiveness Rankings 2020 which shows Hungary still in 47th place, unchanged since 2018.

Singapore sustains its first position from 2019, followed by newcomers Switzerland and Denmark. IMD noted that the marked pattern in this year’s results is the strength of smaller economies. In fourth to fifth place, in order, came: the Netherlands and Hong Kong SAR.

Hungary is in 47th place for the third year in a row. In the European context, Scandinavian countries took the lead, while Eastern European economies appear in the middle and lower sectors.


The Institute for Management Development (IMD) of Switzerland first published its IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 1989, which is a comprehensive annual report and worldwide reference point on the competitiveness of countries. Its aim is to offer a bench-marking service for countries and companies using fresh and relevant data. The annual ranking, now in their 32nd year, has been released, unlocking a wealth of data on the performance of 63 economies across the globe. The results were combined from two sources: opinions collected in early 2020, and hard data from 2019. IMD Center measures the competitiveness of countries using more than 230 indicators, grouped into four factors: economic performance, business and government efficiency, as well as their infrastructure.

Detailed data on Hungary

According to IMD Hungary is facing several challenges in 2020 (Prof. Dr. Magdolna Csath, Research Professor, National University of Public Service, Competitiveness and Fiscal Stability Research Group):

  • Growing unemployment
  • Damaged social trust
  • Increased brain drain
  • Slower return to normal operations
  • Insufficient resources for education and R&D (research and development)

Looking at the four factors, Hungary performed quite well in economic performance within international trade, placing 12th out of 63. On the other hand, Hungary needs to develop its business efficiency. The country got its lowest rank (61st place) in the labor market. In governmental efficiency and infrastructure, Hungary ranked on average.

Swiss IMD Competitiveness Rankings

Competitiveness evolution highlights the 15 biggest improvements and the 15 biggest declines in the overall performance of the economy. The high-tech exports, the number of patents in force, and the real GDP growth per capita increased gradually in 2020. Conversely, the long-term growth of the labor force, the central bank policy, and social responsibility progressively decreased throughout the year.

For further information, please visit IMD’s website.

Finance Ministry: Hungary remains an attractive investment target 

The finance ministry said in reaction to the IMD Competitiveness Rankings, that Hungary remains an attractive international investment target and is among the fastest-growing economies in the European Union with competitive tax regulations and a skilled workforce.

When it comes to the domestic economy, Hungary advanced by 5 places to 18th thanks to its rapid growth and the high investment rate, the ministry highlighted.

In terms of international investments, it improved by 23 spots to 40th place, while on the employment scale it advanced 14 places to 20th place thanks to its high employment rate and falling jobless rate.

The National Competitiveness Council will continue its work, which has already paid dividends in improving the country’s competitiveness in many areas, the ministry added.

Featured photo illustration by Csaba Bús/MTI

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