Promoting SME Competitiveness in Hungary

24 October 2017
ITC News

The Hungarian National Trading House (HNTH), in collaboration with the International Trading Centre, has conducted a firm level data collection exercise to assess the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in three key sectors of the country’s economy: agriculture and food, electronics and ICT. The results were released on 25 October during ITC’s World Export Development Forum in Budapest.

SMEs account for 70% of employment and 58% of value added in Hungary. They are, however, relatively underrepresented in international trade, accounting for only 28% of its exports to the European Union. Enabling more SMEs to compete in international markets is expected to help Hungary forge links with new trading partners while boosting broad-based income growth.

The HNTH works to help innovative SMEs enter and thrive in international markets by offering a single point-of-contact support service. Under the auspices of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the NHTH has deployed ITC’s SME Competitiveness Survey to better understand the constraints their members face.

“Promoting SME Competitiveness in Hungary” complements the detailed examination Hungarian competitiveness in this year’s SME Competitiveness Outlook. The most recent edition of ITCs annual flagship research report, which was released last month, zooms in on the country’s successful automobile industry. The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency contributed a special feature to the report highlighting the country’s strategic position at major crossroads of road, rail and water transport infrastructure, together with its competitive labour force, as key drivers of competitiveness.

SME Competitiveness Outlook 2017 highlights the strong role of Central and Eastern European countries in regional value chain activity, as well as the potential of some of those countries to become headquarter economies, which would amplify local value addition and job creation. Hungary is already home to a number of international lead firms. The report traces the evolution of one of those companies, Kürt Co., from a small hard drive repair shop to an internationally recognized data recovery and information security company.