Dr. Mosoczi, how the construction industry in Hungary is developing ?
The economic growth in Hungary had exceeded the analysts’ expectations by reaching 4.9% in 2018. The production in the construction industry continued to grow, thus increasing its share in GDP, and contributed another 0.8% to last year’s rise. In the period 2016 – 2018 the volume of production in the sector expanded by a total of 85%. The gross value added of the sector, as a part of GDP, increased from 3.4% to 4.8% for the period from 2010 to 2018. The intention of the government is to keep up the growth rate of our economy by 2% over the average one in the European Union during the next programming period. In this aspect, within the peoriod 2019 – 2023, the Hungarian construction sector may expect the start up of projects amounting to 25 Trillion Hungarian Forints. The share of the government financed contracts will represent three fifths of this significant amount, reaching the values of HUF 15 Trillion. The amount foreseen for projects in the road and rail sectors is HUF 5 Trillion. They are the main drivers for the development of the construction industry in the country. The Ministry of Innovation and Technology identifies as a priority the transport infrastructure, that takes an important share in its work. When planning the public projects aimed towards improvement of the quality of life, the Government intends to guarantee resources for market investments and residential building as well. The activities within the sector contribute to the main goal of the Government – in respect to the quality of life criterion Hungary to become one of the top five countries in Europe.
Please, tell us about Hungarian transport policy? What are its goals?
There are 18 territorial units in Hungary, called countries, and each one has its own capital city. There are also 4 large towns in our country, with a status of separate statistical large regions. The main priority of transport policy is, between these 23 countries and the most important industrial zones as well, to provide connectivity by motorways. Our second important task is to carry out an overhaul of all the highspeed roads, that reach our borders. The third aim is to create such a transport network that would ensure that from any point of our territory in less than 30 minutes could be reached some of the motorways. I am confident that before 2023 we will succeed to realise these priorities.
Which are the priority areas in the transport sector, and in the railway infrastructure in particular?
The transport network in Hungary covers 32 000 km. Every year we produce plans for its expansion, as well as for the repair works to carry out on it. The condition of part of this network is not the best one and our main purpose is for up to 5 years to entirely renew it and to ensure it has an European appearance. As regards to the railway infrastructure – our main tasks there are three. One is to develop the Hungarian part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). We have to meet the requirements in respect to the electrification of railway lines and their modernisation, in order to achieve high speed of compositions. Our second major goal is to develop the metro system and railways in Budapest, because 70% of the total passenger traffic using this mode of transport is concentrated in the city and its surroundings. Our third goal is digitalisation of the entire railway network, introduction of new systems for security, control and monitoring the train traffic, as well as to improve the passengers informational system.
Which are the major transport projects that are currently implemented in Hungary?
The purpose of the construction and modernisation of roads and railways is to serve the economic growth, to extend the competitiveness and to create jobs. It is of great importance as well that the major transport projects provide connections with the domestic and the international networks. In this aspect the Kecskemét is a good example of such a type of projects. There are five large road projects in the close proximity of the city, which are either completed, or are currently ongoing, or are in their preparatory phase. At the end of the past year, we implemented a previously made commitment of the government, by opening the last section of the city’s North bypass. In preparation phase is the extension of the urban section of the main Road 52. The Bela Barenyi road reconstruction, which is a municipality project, is at advance stage and within a few months it will be put into operation. During the past summer, along the main Road 54 between the motorways M5 and Road 5, started the works for its widening up to 4 lanes. The works are ongoing for construction of a section from main Road 441 between the Kecskemét and Nagykörös roundabout way. These projects could contribute to the economical, industrial and touristic development of the area. As example of similar to other transport projects, included in our road related program, I could mention the preparation of the sections from Motorway M4 before reaching Berettyóújfalu, as well as those on the route M47 between the towns of Debrecen and Békéscsaba-Szeged.
Is there such an organisation in Hungary, similar to the Bulgarian Construction Chamber, which represents the construction industry in your country?
Yes, there are similar branch organisations in our country – ÉVOSZ, the Chamber of Hungarian Engineers and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These structures are similar to your Chamber. That is why I think there could be realised exchange of related experience between our two countries.The contacts between Bulgaria and Hungary have always been good and I believe that the beneficial interaction of our countries will go on.