Hungary has made a smooth transition to a free-market economy, and was quick to modernize its telecom infrastructure. However, hourly rates and payroll taxes often make hiring Hungarian programmers cost-prohibitive compared to rival outsourcing destinations such as Poland.
Talent Pool & Education
Hungary has an innovation-oriented mindset and a vibrant technology start-up ecosystem. Experienced professionals in the IT and engineering sector are in huge demand, exacerbated by a shortfall in graduates feeding into the workforce, and the loss of talent offshore.
Hungarian is the official language. English is widely spoken in the business community, as is German.
Pre-COVID, Hungary’s economy was on track for a gradual slowdown after several years of outstanding growth. A sharp recession is now projected for 2020, with investments expected to fall by 18.7%, followed by a partial recovery the following year. The tourism and transport sectors have been the hardest hit. A series of new economy protection programs has been launched by the government and the National Bank of Hungary, aimed at strengthening the financial system and getting the country back on track.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s authoritarian regime has been accused of undermining democracy and Hungary is now the first and only EU member state to be considered “partly free” by the think tank Freedom House. New laws passed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic tightly control the flow of public information and allow Orban, who has been in office since 2010, to rule by decree for an unlimited period.