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Business World Reacts to Election Result

Business organizations have given a cautious welcome to the news of the sweeping Fidesz-KDNP election win.

Sándor Csányi.

Given that they will work closely with the new government once it is formed, the Budapest Business Journal contacted a number of the leading chambers of commerce to gauge their reaction.

“AmCham Hungary promotes the global competitiveness of the country, as one of the largest representatives of the business community in Hungary. Therefore, AmCham is committed to continue the constructive dialogue with the re-elected government in order to further strengthen the competitiveness of the economy,” the American chamber of Commerce told the BBJ in relaying a statement from its board. 

“We are especially focusing on the areas of an investment-friendly business climate, creating a more competitive education and broadening the talent pool, fostering innovation and championing digitalization,” the board statement added.

For the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, the reelection was seen through the light of Brexit. 

Strengthening Relationship

“As the U.K. is in the process of redefining its relationship with the EU, the BCCH is looking forward to further strengthening the working relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and relevant government organizations in Hungary to facilitate the development of a strong bilateral trade relationship with the U.K. after Brexit,” the chamber said in an email statement.

Dirk Wölfer, head of communications of the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce said: “The Hungarian voters have expressed strong support for the policy of Fidesz-KDNP. For the corporate sphere it will be important that the new government should continue to provide the necessary policy framework for the efficient and competitive operations. For the Hungarian economy the membership in the European Union is of paramount importance, so we are looking forward to expanding, mutually beneficial economic ties with Germany and other major partners in the EU.”

Others, such as the Netherlands-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and the Swiss chamber declined to comment to the BBJ, saying they do not discuss political issues. 

Leading domestic business figures did give their own reaction, however. OTP Bank chairman-CEO Sándor Csányi, speaking to Hungarian state news agency MTI, praised the “fantastic” work of the National Bank of Hungary, noting policy makers’ decisions to lower interest rates, provide financing for cheap credit for businesses and push banking sector liquidity out of central bank deposits and into government securities. 

He declined to speak directly about the election results, however, telling the wire service: “I don’t wish to comment on the two-thirds majority; the market has already commented on that.” (The equity market was up by almost 2% on the morning after the election, and the forint had appreciated slightly against the euro.)

International ratings agency Fitch said the election result ensured economic policy continuity. For more on this and other analysis from market analysts, see Macroscope on page three.