“Hungary would increasingly like to become an innovation centre, and for this reason beginning next year all enterprises involved in research & development will be able deduct twice as much money from their taxable base as they spend on innovation”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at the think.BDPST innovation conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

“Visegrád integration could be of great assistance to Hungary in this endeavour in view of the fact that the four countries together can attract many more investments that involve research & development and innovation, than individually”, Mr. Szijjártó said at the conference organised by the Antall József Knowledge Centre.

“In this situation, we are endeavouring to connect the V4’s energy, transport and digital system to an every greater extent than before”, he added.

The Minister said that in his opinion the meeting is made even more timely by the fact that there are such rapid changes going on in the world that are leading to the establishment of a new world order.

He said that the 2008 global economic crisis had shown that the global economy cannot get back on its feet with its previous politics, but despite this some are still clinging to the old methods.

The Hungarian Government, however, has recognised that change is necessary, and accordingly since 2010 Hungary has set out on a path that involves a new political and economic strategy, despite the shaking of heads and attacks from some quarters. “And as a result of this reform Hungary has now become part of the solution, not part of the problem”, he added.

“The correctness of the new path is indicated by the fact that while in 2010 Hungary was teetering on the edge of a precipice, today its economy is developing faster that the European average and the Visegrád Group has become one of the engines of the European Union”, the Minister said.

“This is well-illustrated by the fact that trade between the V4 and Germany is now 55 percent higher that between Germany and France”, he continued.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, work-based societies have come into being in the four countries of the Visegrád Group, in the interests of which Hungary, for example, is continuously decreasing the taxes and other burdens on work, “because the more people work, the stronger the country”, he said.

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that increasing our global competitiveness requires that we move forward from our current level of growth of 3 percent to a rate of 5 percent in the upcoming years, and this is only possible if corporations that apply state-of-the-art technologies choose Hungary as their investment destination.

The Foreign Minister said he believed that the conditions for this are already given, in view of the fact that last year the Government decided to introduce the lowest level of corporation tax in the European Union at 9 percent, and also to reduce social contributions.

“Meanwhile, by 2018 we will have successfully achieved our goal of enabling the whole country to have access to 30 megabit/second internet services, and by 2020 the majority of the country will enjoy internet access at speeds of 100MB/s. We are completing the relative EU schedule years in advance”, the Minister said, listing the Government’s achievements.

In addition to representatives of scientific life and economic experts, the conference was also attended by diplomats accredited to Hungary.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)