Ákos Szalai, from the Hungarian National Bank, said that Hungary scored 47.9 points on the overall Competitiveness Index. This is still slightly higher than the average of the other Visegrad countries, which stood at 46.5 points, but 3.4 points below the EU average. Meanwhile, the average of the most developed Nordic countries is 14.4 points higher than Hungary’s score.
A complete competitiveness turnaround is needed to turn the successful growth model, which has so far been based on quantitative factors, into a sustainable model based on qualitative factors, he said.
In some quantitative indicators, the Hungarian economy outperforms the EU average, while there is considerable room for improvement in qualitative indicators. For example, he cited the high level of investment as a share of GDP, but the low share of software, communications and other IT investments.
There are areas where Hungary is ahead of the region and the EU, such as the activation of household savings, the labor market and social inclusion. There is considerable scope for development and competitiveness in the qualitative dimensions of human capital, such as a healthy and skilled workforce, he said.
In the business sector, productivity has improved and the gap between small and large companies has narrowed. At the same time, he said, the wider use of advanced technologies and digital business solutions is essential for SMEs, adding that Hungary is a leader in issuing green government bonds.