Finance Minister calls for establishing new Hungarian brands

“Competitiveness doesn’t start abroad,” the Finance Minister said. “First we have to establish ourselves at home so that we are competitive when we enter foreign markets.”

The Finance Minister has called for establishing new Hungarian brands and for greater international scope.

Addressing a panel discussion on competitiveness at the “Tusványos” Summer University in Baile Tusnad (Tusnádfürdő), in central Romania, Mihály Varga said that once these brands were built up, suppliers would be able to allocate competitive Hungarian technologies to them.

“Competitiveness doesn’t start abroad,” the Minister said. “First we have to establish ourselves at home so that we are competitive when we enter foreign markets.”

According to MTI, Minister Varga urged letting go of the idea that competitiveness based on cheap labor can be lasting. “We’re gradually on our way out of this era.” Hungary must now transition to the small and medium-series production of quality goods, he said, arguing that “this has a future from the point of view of the Carpathian Basin.”

The Minister also touched on the need to be able to adopt to swift market changes, pointing out that products currently in demand may no longer have a market six months to a year from now.

Minister Varga said the era of manufacturing technologies considered obsolete in Germany being used in central Europe was also at an end. Today, Hungary has access to the latest technologies being used in Germany and Austria but is still behind in terms of sales productivity.

The Minister said Hungary’s task now is to reach German levels of productivity, adding that this required a move towards robotization. The workforce replaced by robotization will be able to find work in the fields of programming, logistics and quality management.

Minister Varga said Hungary should concentrate on improving its competitiveness in areas that involve new technologies where no one has gained a significant advantage yet. He named the production of electric and autonomous vehicles, the green economy and renewable energy as examples of sectors Hungary should focus on. The Minister noted the National Competitiveness Council set up in 2016 to give policy recommendations to the government on how to improve competitiveness.

Photo credit: kormany.hu