Cooperation between the government and Hungary’s business service centres has proven mutually beneficial and must be continued in the future, too, the foreign affairs and trade minister said in Budapest on Thursday.
The creation of a Hungarian economic model has allowed the government to maintain the country’s fiscal balance and encourage growth, Péter Szijjártó told a conference organised by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) and the Hungarian Service and Outsourcing Association (HOA).
Hungary has been gradually reducing the public debt over the past nine years, he said, adding that the debt-to-GDP ratio is seen falling below 60 percent by 2022. The government has created 800,000 new jobs over the past nine years, bringing the unemployment rate down from 12.5 percent to 3.3 percent, the minister said.
Hungary has the second-highest economic growth rate among all European Union member states and the country has seen record investments and exports over the past two years, Szijjártó said.
Also, the country is close to full employment. The government must now shift the focus of its economic policy to reducing payroll taxes and should strive for quality over quantity when it comes to job creation, he added.
He said 2019 would be another record year for investments, pointing out that the Hungarian economy has already seen a record 1,400 billion forints’ (EUR 4.2bn) worth of investments by mid-November.
Szijjártó noted that there were 120 business service centres in Hungary employing more than 55,000 people.
The sector saw 34 investments over the past three years, creating 4,667 jobs, he said, adding that the government was in talks with seven companies considering setting up their own service centres in the country. Supporting service centres will be a key part of the government’s next economy protection plan, he added.
Featured photo by Mátyás Borsos/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade