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 near full employment, a shortfall in graduates feeding into the workforce, and the loss of talent offshore. The Ministry of Technology and Industry recently launched a programme providing financial support to companies or government agencies providing part-time employment to young people aged 16-25 who are enrolled at high school or university.
Hungarian is the official language. English is widely spoken in the business community, as is German.
After a pre-election spending spree, the government has imposed corporate taxes and launched spending cuts. Europe’s looming energy crunch is predicted to tip Hungary into recession through 2023 as Germany – Hungary’s key trade partner – faces disrupted gas supplies from Russia. Inflation has hit a two-decade high and a tight labor market, combined with high food and energy prices, will drive up wages.
Pro-Putin leader Viktor Orbán, who first came to power in 2010 led his nationalist Fidesz Party to what Reuters described as a “crushing victory” in the April 2022 elections. “We won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon,” he told supporters on the night. “And you can certainly see it from Brussels.” Hungary is the first and only EU member state to be considered only “partly free” by the think tank Freedom House.