Country Focus Data: Hungary
January 01, 1998
by Mindy Dake
In Central Europe. Budapest is the capital.
Demography: Population 10 million (July 1996 estimate), -0.68% growth rate; Hungarian language; Roman Catholic and Calvinist religions.
Geography: Mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains along the Slovakian border; climate is temperate, with cold, cloudy, humid winters and warm summers.
Government: Republic. President and chief of state, Arpad Goncz. Prime minister and head of government, Gyula Horn.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture.
Economy: Hungary began the transition to a market system in 1990 and immediately went into recession. In 1995, reform efforts gained momentum as the government focused on privatization and reforming trade policy and the financial sector. Hungary is a member of the GATT, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and it hopes to join the European Union by 2002. Hungary received nearly U.S.$15 billion in foreign direct investment from 1989 to 1996, and the forint became fully convertible in 1996. In 1995, inflation was 28.3% with unemployment of 10.4%. Agriculture accounted for 7.3% of gross domestic product and employed 16.1% of the workforce.
G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$7,000; growth rate 1.5% (both 1995 estimates).
Currency: Forint. Nov. 19, 1997, exchange rate: 195.68 forint per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$13 billion (f.o.b., 1995); raw materials and semi-finished goods, consumer goods, food and agriculture, capital goods, fuels and energy.
Imports: U.S.$15 billion (f.o.b., 1995); fuels and energy, raw materials, capital goods, consumer goods, food and agriculture.
Major agricultural products: Wheat, maize, sugar beets; hogs, poultry, dairy products.
Wheat: Five-year average production, 4.3 million tonnes; exports, 917,000; total use, 3.7 million; feed use, 1.4 million.
Coarse grains: Five-year average production, 6.6 million tonnes; exports, 358,000; total use, 6.2 million; feed use, 5.6 million.
Transportation: 158,711 km roads, 44% paved; 7,685 km railroads, 7,474 km 1.435-m gauge; major ports in the landlocked country are Budapest and Dunaujvaros.