Ongoing consultations with Government regarding "Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary" recommendation package

  • April 25, 2018
In January, AmCham sent the latest “Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary” recommendation package to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his cabinet. Since then, the Chamber has been engaged in ongoing consultation with various decision makers and ministries regarding our recommendations. Below you can learn more about the feedback we have received so far.

Download

To download the English version of the Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary 2018 - Executive Summary please, click here. 

To download the Hungarian version of the Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary 2018 - Executive Summary please, click here. 

Background and History

The first ’Cooperation for a more competitive Hungary’ recommendation package was published in February 2016 and AmCham has been dedicated to publishing and discussing its recommendations with the Government since then, in pursuit of the improvement of Hungary’s competitiveness.

The new 16-point package represents our commitment to move our economy and country forward, and it is again considered to be a living document, open for further dialogue. We would like to continue this dialogue with our members, the business community, the academia and our government partners to make Hungary more competitive globally, more attractive to investors and to think ahead of the game in the current economic race.

The new publication is separated into four broad chapters which are in line with our Policy Task Forces: General Business Climate (Investment), Competitive Workforce and Education (Competitive Workforce), Innovation and Research & Development (Innovation) and Digitalization (Digitalization).

Highlights of our recommendations and areas for development include:

  • widening the labour supply
  • creating a more balanced industrial portfolio by advancing the paradigm shift to “Invented in Hungary”
  • the gradual phase-out of crisis taxes
  • introduction of new incentives to support labour mobility, focusing on families
  • supporting key competencies and skills in education
  • further raise of the education budget
  • enhancement of a more structured cooperation between business and education
  • more effective foreign language teaching
  • creating a more supportive innovation ecosystem in higher education
  • gaining international competitive advantage through revolutionary digital projects

 

As part of our advocacy flow, the publication of the recommendation package is followed by a structured dialogue where the recommendations are discussed with the government on the regular working group meetings with representatives of the Ministry for National Economy, state secretary roundtables, business forums and conferences (e.g. Business Meets Government Summit, Competitive Education Conference, Business Meets Universities Workshop). We are proud to say that as a result of expert level consultations we have made considerable progress in many areas with our previous recommendation packages (for details please see page 16 of our Annual Report 2017 publication) and we are looking forward to further discussions and joint work. 

AmCham would like to thank its members and partners for sharing their expertise and for their contribution towards developing policy recommendations. As emphasized before by AmCham CEO Irisz-Lippai-Nagy, we are a powerful network and community and thanks to the commitment and engagement of our members, we have real success stories that we are proud of and that can build on in the future to be a more effective and indispensable partner in enhancing Hungary’s competitiveness.

FEEDBACK

In this section we would like to give you a focused update on the feedback we receive from government partners to the recommendation package, both in form of official correspondence and personal meetings

Correspondence

  • March 7, 2018 - President of the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Dr. Attila Péterfalvi sends letter to AmCham president Dr. Farkas Bársony, in which he confirms that the GDPR related point raised by AmCham in its package is of high importance. He also emphasizes the role AmCham has played in the public discussions about the harmonization of Hungarian law with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, to be implemented by May 25, 2018.

  • March 5, 2018 - Minister of Agriculture Dr. Sándor Fazekas sends letter to AmCham president Dr. Farkas Bársony, wishing much success to AmCham and confirms his cabinet’s support to our objectives in the following fields: competitive workforce, competitive education, digitalization and innovation.

  • February 28, 2018 – President of the National Research, Innovation and Development Office Dr. József Pálinkás sends letter to AmCham president Dr. Farkas Bársony empasizing that the objectives described in AmCham’s Policy Agenda and recommendation package of 2018 include very similar objectives to those in the renewed version of the National Research, Development and Innovation Strategy that was published for public consultation in 2017. A detailed comparison of the AmCham recommendations and the NRDI strategy has also been developed and was sent to AmCham as an attachement to the letter from President Pálinkás.

  • February 2018 - Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga and Deputy State Secretary Antal Nikoletti send a letter and a comprehensive, detailed position of the Ministry for National Economy as a feedback to the AmCham recommendation package for 2017. This official position has been discussed at the quarterly strategic working group meetings between the Ministry for National Economy and AmCham throughout 2017, covering a wide range of issues, including tax related recommendations. This detailed letter gives a comprehensive overview of the Government position on the topics discussed.

Topical meetings

General business climate:

  • February 15, 2018 – At the 8th Quarterly Strategic Working Group Meeting of the Ministry for National Economy and AmCham State Secretary István Lepsényi thanked AmCham for preparing and sharing the “Cooperation for a more competitive Hungary 2018” recommendation package with the Government for the third time. He stated that the annually published recommendation packages along with the series of strategic working group meetings provide a stable and efficient framework for the regular dialogue between the Ministry and AmCham. Among others, participants discussed taxation related recommendations, and AmCham participants also talked about the importance of and the correct interpretation of the Basel Convention for companies providing electronic repair and testing services.

Read more at: https://www.amcham.hu/cooperation-for-a-more-competitive-hungary-recommendation-package-to-state-secretary-istvan-lepsenyi

 

Competitive workforce & education:

  • March 13, 2018 – At an AmCham roundtable discussion, Dr. Valéria Csépe, the academician responsible for developing the new National Curriculum (NAT), former Ministry Commissioner, gave a detailed overview of the main priorities and current status of the NAT reform to AmCham member companies. The discussion moderated by PTF Lead Andrea Juhos touched upon a variety of issues that are incorporated in the AmCham recommendation package, such as the inclusion of the development of skills and competencies, including digital skills, the reduction of the workload of the students, the measurement of results, and the transformation of teacher training.

Read more at: https://www.amcham.hu/amcham-members-met-dr-valeria-csepe-the-academician-responsible-for-developing-the-new-national-curriculum-nat

 

Innovation and research & development:

  • March 21, 2018 – Dr. István Szabó, Head of Department of the Ministry of Human Capacities and colleagues attended the AmCham Innovation Policy Task Force meeting and discussed with participants the issues of possible cooperation, including those related to the organization of the “V4 Conference on the Third Missiobn of higher edication and innovation networks in the Visegrad Group”. Based on the “Business Meets Universities“ project launched by the PTF in 2017, and the advocacy recommendations formulated as a result of the project, the Ministry requested the AmCham Innovation PTF to support the organization of this regional conference scheduled for May 10, in order to collect regional best practices and working models for creating a supportive entreprenurial university ecosystem in Hungary.

 

  • January 18, 2018 – The AmCham Innovation Policy Task Force met President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office Dr. Viktor Łuszcz, Director Dr. Gábor Németh and their collagues to share and discuss key recommendations of the “Business Meets Universities” project focusing on strengthening the cooperation between the business and universities, and also to discuss possible fields of cooperation between the two organizations to support common goals.

Read more at: https://www.amcham.hu/dr-viktor-uszcz-president-of-the-hungarian-intellectual-property-office-met-the-amcham-innovation-ptf-in-january-2018

 

Digitalization:

  • March 6, 2018 -  AmCham colleagues meet Ádám Horváth, Director of the Center for Digital Pedagogy Methodology (Digitális Pedagógia Módszertani Központ) to get to know the Center’s educational plans on enhancing digital competencies and to discuss possible areas of cooperation.

 

  • April 4, 2018  - Representatives of the Center for Digital Pedagogy Methodology (Digitális Pedagógiai Módszertani Központ) present the DIGCOMP and IKER systems at AmCham’s Digital Competence Mapping Workshop. The Workshop is a part of AmCham’s Digital Competence Mapping Project which aims to identify the most important digital competencies for the labour market and summarize how these competencies are being measured in practice.

Regulatory:

  • February 16th, 2018 - Minister of Justice Dr. László Trócsányi welcomed the delegation of AmCham’s Regulatory Committee led by Committee Chair Gábor Orosz and AmCham CEO Irisz Lippai-Nagy in his office. The Minister emphasized the importance of the regular, professional input provided by AmCham to the public consultation process of legislative drafts and thanked for the outstanding work of AmCham, and the Regulatory Committee in particular. The Minister also commented on AmCham ’s  ”Cooperation for a more competitive Hungary 2018” recommendation package that was published this January, and he also confirmed the Ministry’s openness in continuing the dialogue on those legislative issues that are important for AmCham, a prominent representative of the business community in Hungary.

    Read more at: https://www.amcham.hu/minister-of-justice-laszlo-trocsanyi-meets-amcham-regulatory-committee

We will post about updates, progress and feedback received about the recommendation package on a dedicated page in the Advocacy section of our website. Stay up-to-date with our progress here.