Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
Hungary’s high-quality infrastructure and central location make it an attractive destination for investment. Despite the challenges listed above, Hungary remains an attractive market for U.S. investment and exports. Top reasons for doing business in Hungary include:
- The Russian-Ukrainian war has opened unprecedented opportunities for U.S. companies in the energy sector.
- One of the fastest growing economies in the European Union.
- Central location considered to be the gateway to Central/Southeast Europe.
- Well-educated and trained workforce.
- Excellent infrastructure
- Supply chain opportunities in manufacturing, automotive and electronics industries.
- Government emphasis on innovation and knowledge-based technologies with the slogan of “Invent in Hungary.”
EU funding through 2021 has driven Hungarian growth as it has been used for more than 60,000 projects to improve telecommunications, energy, and highway infrastructure. As part of the National Development Plan (2014-2020), Hungary allocated approximately USD 33 billion to projects ranging from tourism and infrastructure development to healthcare and environment protection. Hungary will be given USD 61.1 billion (EUR 52.8 billion) from the central budget in the next EU budget cycle (2021-2027) focusing on increasing Hungary’s competitiveness in both economic and social terms. The government budget has six main objectives: to enhance the productivity and innovation capacity of Hungarian SMEs to become key players in international economic competition; to increase employment rates and improve productivity and employment conditions; to invest in infrastructure which contributes in particular to enhancing competitiveness; to increase cross-border cooperation with neighboring regions; to give research, development and innovation a central role; and to facilitate the widespread use of renewable energy and encourage the transition to a greener, low-carbon industry, leading to a circular economy to fight climate change.
The government’s goal is to provide clean, smart, and affordable energy for consumers. In addition, its main objectives are to strengthen security of the energy supply, transform the energy sector to become climate friendly, and stimulate innovation opportunities. A secondary goal is that most of Hungary’s electricity is produced from two sources: nuclear and renewable energy (primarily solar power plants). By using solar and nuclear energy together, by 2030, 90% of Hungary’s electricity production will be carbon-free. By 2040, Hungary’s electricity imports will fall from the current average of over 30% to below 20%.
In addition, Hungary aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Hungary has committed to increasing the current 14% share of renewable energy to at least 21% by 2030. Greening transportation is key to achieving these climate goals. Hungary is at the forefront of developing electric mobility in the region, with 672 charging stations nationwide and over 15,000 green license plates on the roads by 2020. Zala Zone, located in south-west Hungary, is a public private partnership and is a proving ground for classic vehicle tests and connected and autonomous mobility solutions. The project was completed in 2021 in collaboration with Austria and Slovenia. A Zala Drone section was added to the facility 2021.