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Hungarian economic policy will remain coordinated, which has been an important element of its success so far, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a conference on Thursday. If the government measures prove successful, inflation will fall in the coming months, Orbán told a year-opening event of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce (MKIK). The first signs of that success are already showing, he said. It will then be easier to coordinate the central bank’s instruments to curb inflation with those of the government, he said. It must be accepted, Orbán said, that economic policy debates are “a podium where otherwise intellectually strong and colourful personalities can see an opportunity to come forward”. “I am no exception to this,” he said, adding that “this is typical of all of us since we are humans and we are players in the world of politics.”
Speaking of the vehicle industry and the battery plants, Orbán said every Hungarian citizen has the right to live their life in a liveable environment, and everyone has the right to expect that all investments in Hungary are implemented under the strictest possible environmental conditions. Hungary continues to apply the strictest safety standards for all industrial investments, standards that are stricter than at similar German factories, he said.
Orbán noted that the vehicle industry provides a living for around 300,000 families in Hungary. He said that a technology shift is taking place in this sector, and if after 2035 only electric vehicles can be manufactured in Europe and the components are not made in Hungary, then these will be made elsewhere and “our conventional automobile plants will have to slowly be shut down”. The Hungarian vehicle industry must be kept alive, he said, and the necessary production technologies and capacities should be created in the country, he added. Currently, the four biggest investments in the history of the Hungarian economy are being implemented, the prime minister said, including two in the east of the country. These are “fantastic industrial development achievements, of historic dimensions, which will bear fruit in the coming years,” he added.
Hungary’s automobile industry output reached a record 12,000 billion forints in 2022, Orbán said, adding that the electronics industry’s production also exceeded 10,000 billion forints last year. Food industry output came to more than 6,000 billion forints and the pharmaceutical sector reached 1,000 billion forints, he said. In connection with investments, Orbán said that Hungary wins investments at the lowest subsidy intensity compared to its competitors. It is only in the mind of left-wing politicians who have “no clue about the economy” that “capital is there lying in the street and cannot wait to settle somewhere,” Orbán said. “The reality is that capital makes calculations and the possible locations are competing to attract it,” he said.