Hungary’s global competitiveness rating drops

Competition

Hungary has placed 69th in a competitiveness rating of 138 countries compiled by the World Economic Forum this year, slipping from last year’s 63rd place when a total of 140 countries were evaluated, according to reports today.

The World Economic Forum listed problematic factors in terms of doing business with Hungary, including “policy instability,” “corruption,” “tax regulations” and an “inadequately educated workforce,” in order of importance. 

Considering the region, Hungary was preceded this year by the Czech Republic (placing 31st), Poland (36th), Romania (62nd) and Slovakia (65th). On a scale of 1-7, Hungary scored 4.2 this year, slightly dropping from last year’s 4.25. Switzerland finished in first place with a score of 5.81.

Online news portal index.hu notes that Hungary placed 25th out of 28 EU member countries covered in the survey.

Responding to the news, index.hu cited a statement issued by the Ministry for National Economy describing the survey as subjective and irrelevant.

“The primary measure of competitiveness of the Hungarian economy is not which place Hungary occupies in the ranking of a research institution, but what pace the Hungarian economy is expanding, whether employment levels are growing, whether public finances are balanced, or whether state debt is decreasing," wrote the ministry. The statement claimed that GDP and employment are growing and state debt is being steadily reduced, which the EU and credit rating agencies have already acknowledged.

Responding to a ministry criticism that the survey relied on the opinions of too narrow a group of business leaders, Péter Vakhal of research institute Kopint-Tárki, which cooperated with the WEF locally, told index.hu that the survey attached only some 30% weight to interviews with business leaders, while 70% weight was given to statistical data - among which featured the macroeconomic figures to which the ministry referred.

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