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Economy Minister: Don’t compare Hungary to emerging markets

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Hungary’s economy does not suffer from balance problems that would have justified the recent significant weakening of the forint but the country cannot escape the effects of international markets, National Economy Minister Mihály Varga said on Sunday. 

Varga stated on commercial television network ATV that Hungary should not be compared to emerging countries that have significant foreign trade deficit such as Turkey and the Republic of South Africa. On the contrary, explained Varga, Hungary had a trade surplus in 2013 and its economy, unlike Turkey’s, does not suffer from structural problems

Varga called Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s comment of earlier this week that economic growth could reach 4% in 2016 “completely realistic,” though in his opinion much will depend on developments in foreign markets, particularly Germany.

Commenting on the planned expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant, Varga claimed the related investments would increase Hungary’s assets, create up to 9,000 new jobs and boost GDP by 1%. Current calculations show that the associated loan would increase the public debt by 1% on a temporary basis “but this will not threaten the goal to reduce Hungary’s public debt in the years ahead,” he promised.

-- material from national news service MTI was used in this article

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