At a recent business lunch, Minister of National Economy and co-president of Joint Venture Association Mihály Varga announced the development of a taxation system that takes into account the interests of taxpayers.
The new system - which expectedly comes into force in 2017 - would insure more independence for reliable taxpayers, apply more realistic deadlines, and it would increase the financial responsibility of the National Tax and Customs Administration.
On a discussion organized by the Joint Venture Association (JVA), the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, the French-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Hungary - Hong-Kong Business Association, the Hungarian - Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the Austrian Embassy Commercial Department, Mihály Varga reported the latest achievements of the Hungarian economy, and its actual challenges to the prominent leaders of economy in Hungary.
As stated by the Minister of National Economy, last year was an extremely successful year, because Hungary's economy has been developing continuously since 2013, its structure is becoming more and more balanced, and its growth pace has reached 3.6 percent by 2014. Liveliness of economy appears in foreign trade as well - while export increased with 7.1 percent, import grew with 8.8 percent in 2014. According to Mihály Varga, thanks to the parallel increasing production and internal consumption, the expansion will be sustainable in 2015, and incidental negative effects could be compensated by the excellent performance of vehicle industry. He also evaluated the volume of investments outstanding, with a total value of more than 6800 billion last year, producing a 21.3 percent better result than that of the average result of other countries of the so-called Visegrád Group (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia). Better results indirectly show up in indicators of the labour market - in the three months period until January 2015 the number of persons employed was 4.5 million, approaching the 62.5 percent ratio in the age-group 15-64. Another positive development is the reduction of the country's external vulnerability: it is the fourth year that the shortage is under three percent, and it seems that the growing tendency of government debt that stopped few years ago is now in a decreasing phase. It is reducing slowly but definitely.
As for prospects of near future, as reported by the Minister of National Economy, Brussels gave the green light to the three economic development operational programmes that are under the authority of the Ministry, so new tenders will be advertised soon. He noted that in accordance with the regulations of the European Union the ratio of non-refundable support will decrease, and tenders will be characterised by much simpler tendering process and less security needs. Mihály Varga also expects the expansion of resources available from the agreement between the government and the banking sector, which will tighten the cooperation between them, and makes banking politics more calculable.
Mihály Varga announced a comprehensive tax reform, which is part the current administrative reform aiming at competitiveness. Expectedly from 2017 the government will take over the tax return from private individuals, while in the business sector the relation between tax authority and enterprises may alter basically.
Changing the educational and training system remains on the agenda in the future as well. Mihály Varga highlighted that the goal of the planned reform is creating a dual educational system that can conform to the economic needs of the country quickly and pliantly, but naturally it is not supposed to distract students from asserting themselves in other fields.
As for the risks, according Mihály Varga, current foreign factors are determinative in terms of Hungary, and he mentioned the Russian - Ukrainian conflict. As he said, it is essential for Hungary to reach the revision of sanction politics, since it may have direct and strong effect on the energy supply, and also on the operation of several important companies that have serious interests in the countries affected.
The president of the Joint Venture Association, Chris Mattheisen, CEO of Magyar Telekom Zrt. received the National Economy Award. Mihály Varga said that the American businessman who speaks Hungarian perfectly plays a dominant role in Hungarian economy both as a CEO and president of the JVA.