Hungarians’ talent, diligence are basis for continued economic growth – Orban

Hungarians’ talent and diligence provide the foundations for the country’s continued economic growth, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a weekly interview on public radio.„These two things, talent and diligence, will sustain [Hungary’s] economic growth,” Mr Orban said on Kossuth Radio, commenting on data released earlier in the week that showed Hungary’s economy grew an annualised 5.2pc in the third quarter, when adjusted for seasonal effects.

He said Hungarians’ talent extends across the workforce, recalling foreign investors who expressed surprise when Hungarians on the factory floor, rather than engineers or economists, made suggestions for improvements. He added that Hungarians like to work and are diligent, if they find their work to be worthwhile.

Mr Orban warned against complacency, saying further efforts have to be made, and will always have to be made, to achieve ever greater success. He also said the measure of this success should be „sui generis”, explaining that comparisons with other countries can be made with a view to keeping the Hungarian economy competitive, but a foreigner’s expectations from life should not determine a Hungarian’s quality of life or goals.

Mr Orban said „much must be done” to boost efficiency in the country. Progress must be made in the area of vocational training, and the management of locally-owned SMEs must be improved, he said, noting that output per employee at foreign-owned multinationals in Hungary is much higher than at SMEs. Wages should also rise, but increases must be paired with efficiency improvements or they will lead to unemployment, he added.