Hungary Economics and Business

According to cheeroutdoor, Hungary is a Central European country bordered by Slovakia, Austria, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. It has a population of around 9.7 million people and a GDP per capita of US$14,500 as of 2019. The economy of Hungary is largely based on services which account for around 70% of GDP and employs nearly three-quarters of the population. Other important sectors include industry (20%) and agriculture (10%).

The main exports from Hungary are machinery and equipment; vehicles; chemicals; foodstuffs; iron and steel products; pharmaceuticals; textiles and apparel. Its main trading partners are Germany, Austria, Italy, France, the United Kingdom (UK) and Poland.

The Hungarian government has taken steps to stimulate economic growth through initiatives such as tax reforms; improvement in infrastructure; encouraging foreign investment in technology-intensive industries such as automotive manufacturing or IT services; promoting tourism; improving access to credit for small businesses; increasing agricultural productivity through subsidies or special credits for rural development projects; providing technical assistance to farmers. Furthermore it has sought foreign aid from international organizations such as the European Union (EU) to help develop its economy over time. In recent years, there have been several positive developments in the Hungarian economy due to these efforts including increased foreign investment in infrastructure projects which have helped create jobs in Hungary.

Abbreviated as HUN by, Hungary has undergone a development from central management of the economy to the current market economy situation. From 1968, the central government of the economy was replaced by a system based on decentralization, with the development of a socialist market economy as a goal. State planning and “market development” should be harmonized. The reforms led to a rapid improvement in living standards. During the 1980s-1990s, further changes were introduced to further develop a private business sector.

Hungary GDP (Nominal, $USD) 2003-2017

Hungary has experienced strong economic growth in recent years (2006) and joined the EU in 2004. The private sector plays an important role in the country’s economy and there is great interest in foreign investment in Hungary.

Hungary has long traditions as an agricultural country, but in the post-World War II period it was characterized by a transition to industry and service industries. In 2006, 31.2% of the workforce was employed in industry and mining, 65.1% in service industries and 3.7% in agriculture.


Agricultural employment has been sharply reduced since the 1980s. Productivity has increased significantly, as has the fertilizer consumption and the degree of mechanization.

The majority of the arable land is used for grain cultivation, which mainly dominates east of the Danube. The most important agricultural products are maize, wheat, barley, potatoes, sunflower and sugar beets. Grapes are grown in the old wine areas on the southern slopes of Tokaj, Eger and Balaton, but most of the production comes from the country between the Danube and Tisza.

There is considerable animal husbandry, especially strophe and pigs. Chickens, geese, ducks and poultry provide significant export revenue.

  • Paulsourcing: Top 10 tips for doing business in Hungary, covering country profile and market entry requirement.


Only 16% of the area is forest. Forestry is mostly run in the mountain regions and contributes with approx. 4 / 5 of the country’s annual needs. The rest must be imported.


Fishing takes place in rivers and ponds. The ponds, which make up 0.3% of the total area, are the most important.

Mining, energy

With the exception of bauxite, Hungary has modest deposits of minerals. Lignite and lignite are recovered. In particular, quantities of lignite are extracted in the “coal axis”, which extends diagonally through Hungary, from Balaton to Sajódalen. Despite some petroleum production, large quantities of crude oil and natural gas must be imported.

In 2015, the production of electrical energy was 30 TWh, of which just over 50 percent came from nuclear power plants, about 20 percent from coal power plants and 15 per cent from gas power plants. In addition, the country imported 14 TWh (net), mainly from Slovakia and Ukraine. The final consumption was 37 TWh, giving an annual per capita consumption of 3750 kWh. The government plans to increase its share of nuclear power to around 60 percent.


After World War II, the heavy industry was prioritized in Hungary, as in the other Eastern European countries. Eventually, however, the country has developed an industrial breadth with, among other things, far greater emphasis on the production of consumer goods. Particularly since 1976, emphasis has been placed on modernizing the industry. In 2006, the industry (including mining) contributed approx. 31% of GDP.

Nearly half of industrial employment is located in the Budapest area.


The rules of entry and exit were liberalized in 1964-65, which resulted in an escalation of tourism, which has become a significant source of foreign currency. Budapest, Balaton and the many hot springs attract numerous visitors.

Note: the capital city of Hungary is Budapest with a population of 1 800 000 (2015). Other major cities include Debrecen with a population of 204 000, Szeged with a population of 163 000, Miskolc with a population of 160 000, Pécs with a population of 146 000 (2015).

Foreign Trade

Germany is the main trading partner. Other important countries for export are Austria and Italy. Main export products are machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products and foodstuffs. The main import goods are machinery, transport equipment, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum products and foodstuffs. Imports come mainly from Germany, Russia, China, Austria, France and the Netherlands.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Hungary, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.

Transport and Communications

A dense railway network radiates from Budapest. The line length was 2006 7937 km. The road network is approx. 159 570 km. The state airline Malév has regular flights to most European countries. Hungary has 1622 km of inland waterways, with the Danube and Tisza rivers as the most important. Budapest is the main port. The country’s largest airport is Férihegy Airport near Budapest.

Hungary Economics and Business

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