A country strongly dependent on natural gas imports, Hungary has taken several commendable steps to manage risks to its supply. It has enhanced storage capacity and diversified cross-border capacity, and is developing new supply routes. Hungary is also working hard to strengthen the regional electricity market through new interconnectors and market coupling.
Electricity demand within Hungary is expected to grow, while generating capacity is rapidly ageing. Investments are needed for grid improvements and generating capacity, both for increasing capacity (especially for low-carbon electricity) and replacing ageing plants. Ensuring predictable and attractive framework conditions for investing in energy infrastructure is crucial.
The government is considering additional nuclear power units. The extent to which nuclear power capacity will be expanded should be clarified without unnecessary delay, as it will have broad implications for the viability of other current and future base-load technologies.
Although per-capita energy consumption in Hungary is well below the OECD average, considerable potential remains for improving energy efficiency across all sectors. Measures to reduce consumption in the large existing building stock should be the governmentfs top priority for energy policy. Gradually, Hungary should also replace broad subsidies for energy use with direct support to those in need.
Korea tops a new OECD PISA survey that tests how 15-year olds use computers and the Internet to learn. The next best performers were New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong-Kong China and Iceland.
These country notes contain over 50 indicators which compare the political and institutional frameworks of national governments as well as revenues and expenditures, employment, and compensation. They include a description of government policies on integrity, e-government and open government.
"By connecting the Organisation with the corporate sector, BIAC provides an essential reality check on our public policy discussions, and their potential impact on the private sector.", A. Gurría declared at the BIAC General Assembly Business Roundtable.
Apparent characteristics of the Hungarian banking market such as large profits and high margins suggest weak competitive pressures. Weak competition in turn, may reduce efficiency in a lack of pressures to converge to marginal cost and to stimulate managerial efforts to reduce X-inefficiency.
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'PISA in Focus' N°3 looks at 15-year-olds' participation in after-school classes and examines its possible impact on their performance.
Hungary has faced a considerable challenge to regain credibility following persistent and high fiscal deficits. Efforts during recent years have produced substantial results. These and other points are discussed in this working paper.
The global crisis exposed weaknesses in the Hungarian financial system that pose risks to financial stability, as discussed in this working paper.
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This note is taken from Chapter 3 of Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2010.
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Statement by Mr József Gráf, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hungary, OECD Agriculture Ministerial Meeting 2010