Flying start: Powering up Hungary for a decade of growth

Amid the social and economic pain brought by the global COVID-19 health crisis, remembering past strengths and looking beyond the pandemic might be difficult. But as they work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, Hungary’s public and private leaders must also set aside time to envision and implement measures that will build on the country’s solid fundamentals and seize opportunities, new and old.

In the late 2010s, before the pandemic ruptured the global economy, Hungary was enjoying dynamic growth that surpassed that of most European countries. McKinsey has examined the foundations of that success, as well as the likely impact of the pandemic and ongoing trends, such as the spread of digital technologies, to suggest ways the country can emerge stronger and, within a decade, reach European economic norms.

The analysis examined closely 13 industries crucial to Hungary’s continuing economic development and makes specific recommendations for each based on powerful growth levers confirmed through our experience in the country and worldwide. By actively working to address weaknesses within the industries, adopt digital technologies, and capture opportunities, the country can increase its productivity and competitiveness.

With strong leadership, the country can move from policies focused on catching up to its European peers to one that strives to create regional champions across many sectors.