Márton Nagy, the economic development minister, told a meeting of the National Council for Sustainable Development that Hungary’s labor market is in need of 500,000 additional workers who should preferably be found on the national market before the country turns to guest workers.
Detailing the industrial development strategy, Minister Nagy said Hungary’s economy should be built on investments, which required a constant stream of foreign capital, modernization and research and development. He said Hungary’s investment rate was 27.2% last year, the third-highest among OECD countries. The government, he added, was committed to Hungary’s convergence despite the negative effects of the war and the energy crisis. He said Hungary’s GDP per capita reached 77.5% of the European Union average last year, rising from 75% a year earlier. “Those who say Hungary’s convergence was interrupted in 2022 aren’t telling the truth,” he said. “The indicators prove that this was the biggest jump in convergence in a decade.” With a targeted GDP growth of 1.5% this year, Hungary’s development level is approaching 80% of the EU average, Nagy said, adding that there was a “realistic chance” of reaching 90% by 2030. Nagy said evidence of the success of the government’s policy of opening up to the East could be found in FDI and noted a “significant” expansion of the share of Asian investors. He said Hungary’s role as a bridge between German vehicle makers and their battery-making partners in the East “suits the country well”. He added that with the construction of new capacity, Hungary was set to become the fourth-biggest battery maker in the world.