Magazine: Competitiveness for dinner

By: trademagazin Date: 2015. 09. 02. 07:51

At end of May Trade magazine and Chain Bridge Club organised their traditional Business Dinner. The topic was competitiveness and the guests were Ferenc Dávid, general secretary of the National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Mihály Kupa, economist and former Minister of Finance and Márton Nagy, managing director of the Central Bank of Hungary (MNB). Former television journalist Szilvia Krizsó was the event’s moderator, whose first question was about the reduction of bank taxes. Mr Nagy told that MNB’s opinion is that only those banks’ taxes should be lowered which are willing to lend to businesses. Mr Kupa added that it is of key importance for the Hungarian economy that lending to enterprises starts to grow. Mr Dávid mentioned that the Széchenyi card programme works best for micro- and small businesses, but the SME sector isn’t developing because enterprises are pessimistic about the future. Márton Nagy explained how the National Deposit Insurance Fund (OBA) works and spoke about the Investor Protection Fund’s (BEVA) role: it intervenes if a customer’s bonds are stolen by their brokers, e.g. in the Quaestor scandal HUF 200 billion worth of bonds were stolen. Mihály Kupa made it clear that there are many honest brokers but it is clear that the sector needs stricter control. Ferenc Dávid warned that it is bad for both the economy and society if certain professions or groups of people are blackened. When asked about the 2016 budget, Mr Kupa said the 1-percent cut in the personal income tax and the reduction of the VAT on pig were major changes. In his view there has been no significant step forward in the case of enterprises; burdens on them are still too high. The use of European Union funding is declining but it is SMEs who get 60 percent of the money. Mr Dávid opined that the public work programme is a dead end; still, the government spends HUF 60-70 billion more on it every year. Statistics show that only 10 percent of public workers find a proper job afterwards. VOSZ’s view is that the social security and pension contributions of enterprises should be lowered. Mr Nagy added that he thinks the government will soon implement educational reforms for a better vocational education that suits the needs of the labour market. He reckons that the public work programme is rooted in the same idea. When the topic of economic growth was discussed, the MNB’s managing director expressed his hopes for a lasting 3-percent or bigger growth. He believes that growing real income, employment and productivity will entail consumption growth and a whiter economy. The investment rate may stay high and lending can expand by 4-5 percent a year. The former Minister of Finance was doubtful about the GDP’s growth rate and the expectations concerning FDI. VOSZ’s general secretary expressed his concerns as regards the level of employment, the black economy’s whitening and problems of corruption. At the end of the programme the participants were answering questions. A dinner followed where everyone present kept on discussing the most important business matters in small groups. They can continue from 29 September until 2 October 2015 in Tapolca’s Hotel Pelion at the Business Days conference!

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