Illustration - Photo: pxfuel

PM advisor: Hungary could become forerunner in region

Hungary's economy could grow by up to 6 percent this year and expand by even 6 to 7 percent in 2022, leaving neighbouring countries behind to become a forerunner in the region, Marton Nagy, senior economic advisor to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, told commercial broadcaster Inforadio on Tuesday evening.

Nagy attributed a rebound in the country’s economic performance despite the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic to two factors. One concerns the economic policy pursued over the past 10 years, as a result of which the economy has become “shock resistant”, while the other concerns a set of crisis management measures aimed at protecting and revitalising the economic sector, he said.

Nagy said the government’s formula was simple and aimed at boosting investments while protecting jobs. Nagy highlighted the importance of granting wage subsidies and introducing a moratorium on loan repayments.

The main focus this year and in 2022 will be on state investments in the economy, which Nagy said would “supplement private investments”.

He said the rule of thumb in using resources was to make sure that every single forint spent should generate an equivalent of at least 1.5 forints in contribution to the country’s GDP.

The focus of industry policy in the next two years will be the construction sector and the manufacturing of building materials, Nagy said.

For the period 2021-2027, a total of 50,000 billion forints (EUR 140bn) is available for state economic development purposes, which is nearly 100 percent of Hungary’s annual GDP, Nagy said, noting that 30 percent of that amount would come in EU funds and the rest in domestic and other resources.

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