With a score of 47.9 points, Hungary ranks 17th among the 27 European Union countries in the competitiveness ranking prepared by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) – up one place but still slightly below the EU average.
The Head of MNB's Competitiveness Department Ákos Szalai was of the view at Tuesday’s online press conference that Hungary has successfully developed the macroeconomic conditions necessary for a competitiveness turnaround over the past decade, which, with the effective handling of the coronavirus crisis, has helped the country to continue catching up with the EU average even during the epidemic.
Presenting the central bank's latest Competitiveness Report, he was of the opinion that a complete competitiveness turnaround is needed to turn the successful growth model based on quantitative factors into a sustainable model based on qualitative factors.
The MNB's Competitiveness Report looks at 160 indicators in 14 areas, 95% of which are objective. The analysis is based on data for 2021, so the impact of the coronavirus epidemic is reflected, but the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and the energy crisis is not. The focus of the report is on Hungary, but the main benchmark used is the average of the Visegrád Group competitors and EU countries. A new feature of this year's report is the inclusion of a third benchmark, the average of the top five Nordic countries that include Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The report shows that Hungary scores 47.9 points, still slightly higher than the other Visegrád countries (46.5), but 3.4 points below the EU average (51.3), while the average of the most developed Nordic countries is 14.4 points higher than that of Hungary.
As in the previous two years, Sweden topped the ranking, with The Netherlands and Denmark sharing the other two places.
In the top half of the Competitiveness Index are the developed countries of Western and Northern Europe, while the Mediterranean countries are more in the middle. In Central and Eastern Europe, Slovenia (54.1 points) and Estonia (52.6 points) scored the highest, while the other countries of the region scored below the EU average. Sweden, the best performer, scored 66.9 out of a possible 100 points, meaning there is room for all countries to improve their competitiveness, the MNB official said.
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