Illustration - Photo: pxfuel

Minister: Hungary needs 500,000 additional workers

Hungary's labour 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, the economic development minister told a meeting of the National Council for Sustainable Development on Friday.

Detailing the industrial development strategy, Marton Nagy said Hungary’s economy should be built on investments, which required a constant stream of foreign capital, modernisation and research and development.

He said Hungary’s investment rate was 27.2 percent last year, the third-highest among OECD countries.

Nagy said the government 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 percent of the European Union average last year, rising from 75 percent 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 percent this year, Hungary’s development level is approaching 80 percent of the EU average, Nagy said, adding that there was a “realistic chance” of reaching 90 percent 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.

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