The foreign minister has said that in response to the global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary has introduced the strongest package of incentives in its economic history.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told a business forum of the French business confederation MEDEF in Paris that Hungary’s government last year offered international businesses planning investments in Hungary to cover half of the value of an investment if workers were retained. As a result, an unprecedented volume of investment has been carried out, and currently more people work in Hungary than before the crisis, he added.

The minister said a total of 1,435 companies have participated in the scheme, with investments totalling 4.8 billion euros. As a result, 270,000 jobs have been rescued and 13,000 new ones created.

Ever since assuming power in 2010, the economic target of the Fidesz-Christian Democrats-led government has been to ensure that Hungary exceeds the average European economic growth level by at least 2 percentage points, Minister Szijjártó said. In the last “normal” year, which was 2019, Hungary achieved 4.6 percent economic growth, he said.

Minister Szijjártó said unemployment has fallen to 3.4 percent, which some textbooks consider close to full employment. Hungary’s economy is extremely open and its performance is determined by exports and the value of investments. Since 2014, their total value has increased every year, he added.

Over the past seven years, foreign investors carried out 590 investments with a total value of 22 billion euros, creating 99,000 new jobs, he said. Hungary has increased its industrial output by 70 percent since 2010, he added.