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Hungary is on the road to becoming one of Europe’s most competitive countries

The Prime Minister added that in just over a year 517.6 billion forints (approx. EUR 1.65bn) in investments have been realised in Hungary by domestic and foreign investors, creating 5,811 new jobs.

In recent months construction of ThyssenKrupp Components Technology’s new suspension and drive parts plant was completed in Jászfényszaru.

Mr. Orbán told reporters that the factory complex, which was constructed as a greenfield project at a cost of some 33.5 billion forints – including 10.5 billion forints from the Hungarian government – will create 500 new jobs in the settlement by 2019.

Mr. Orbán also drew attention to the fact that it is not enough to become one of Europe’s most competitive countries – Hungary must also retain that status permanently. As an example, he mentioned that Germany has had a permanent place in this “club” for many years, stressing that Hungary will also require Germany’s precision, discipline and work ethic.

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Photo: Gergely Botár

Mr. Orbán said that a competitive country needs well-capitalised large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises that are linked to them, and a highly trained workforce; but it also needs strong cities, and rural areas that gain in strength together with them.

According to the Prime Minister, Friday’s factory inauguration has also strengthened Hungary’s competitiveness, as sixty locations in twelve countries entered the competition for the project. Among these locations the winner was Jászfényszaru, which has a population of some five and a half thousand.

Mr. Orbán called ThyssenKrupp one of the world’s most competitive companies, employing 160,000 people in 79 countries. He said that it is exemplary that, with the help of the Hungarian government, Jászfényszaru has succeeded in creating the conditions necessary to convince a global company to choose it as the best location for its latest facility.

To achieve a competitive economy it is not enough to come up with competitive ideas, Mr. Orbán noted: those ideas must also be organised into a system. As an example, he cited the fact that one of the reasons that ThyssenKrupp is one of Germany’s most innovative companies is that it has organised two hundred years of experience and tradition into a well-functioning business model. He observed that Hungary is also attempting to achieve something similar at the level of the national economy, and that it not only has ideas, but is striving towards forming them into an economic model. This, the Prime Minister underlined, is called the Hungarian model, which until now has performed well.

Mr. Orbán cited the three pillars of the Hungarian model; one of these is full employment, and he noted that 700,000 new jobs have been created in the last eight years.

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Photo: Gergely Botár

The second pillar, he said, is that in Hungary neither labour market problems nor demographic problems can be solved “from outside”: Hungary does not want to solve its demographic problems through immigration and migrants. He explained that the third pillar is Hungary’s competitive environment: its flexible labour market regulations, its attractive taxation system, and a vocational training system which is being reorganised to meet labour market demands.

The Prime Minister said that in his opinion the Government has taken important steps to ensure the operation of an economy-orientated vocational training system in Hungary. he added that one of the most important tasks for the next four years will be to transpose the advantages of the German system and make use of old Hungarian vocational training traditions to establish a new, modern and well-functioning vocational training system.

He pointed out that in Europe the coming decades will be about work and identity: whether we are prepared to work for our standard of living and make an effort to preserve what we have already acquired, while not forgetting who we are; and whether we pay attention to our cultural identity, language and national identity. He stressed that Hungary can only be successful if it remains Hungarian and does not give up its traditions. The German investors have brought their factories to a place where the community is proud of its traditions, has a long history, and wants to preserve its traditions, the Prime Minister said.

On the subject of the upcoming general election, Mr. Orbán advocated keeping the Government’s existing economic and other policy directions, saying that what is at stake in the election is the continuation of Hungarian investments and city development projects – such as the significant development of Jászfényszaru. “Progress will be lasting if we can defend Hungary and maintain it as the kind of country that we want it to be”, he said, noting that if this does not occur then “Hungary will not stay Hungarian and the development we have achieved will not serve our interests”.

“Hungary is prepared to help people in need, but this must be done in their countries: help must be taken there, instead of bringing the problem into Hungary”, he reiterated. This is something that Hungary is ready to do, and it is cooperating with Germany and the whole European Union, he said.

According to the Prime Minister, there are two prerequisites for development: the presence of highly qualified skilled workers, and the country’s security. Hungary’s borders must be defended, he stressed, and there must be maintenance of the country’s status as one of the world’s safest countries – if not the safest.