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20th September, 2018

Szijjarto hopes to attract more Chinese tourists

It is in Hungary’s economic interest to have more Chinese tourists visit Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a conference of tourism ministers arranged for China and 16 Central and East European countries in Dubrovnik, Croatia Tuesday evening.

Aside from a direct Budapest-Beijing air link, another air corridor will be established between Shanghai and Hungary from next summer, he said.

He told state news agency MTI that tourism produces a growing share of Hungary’s GDP and that further growth is best generated by attracting high-spending visitors, adding that Chinese tourists are among the highest spending in the world.

Last year 227,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Hungary, 34% more than a year earlier, and in the first half of this year 140,000 Chinese tourists were in Hungary, marking another 11% rise.

Regarding the new air link, he said “we have reached the final phase of negotiations with China Eastern Airlines on establishment of a direct Shanghai-Budapest connection”. (magyarhirlap.hu)
20th September, 2018

Industry association submits vocational education reform plan

After two years of work, industrial association Mgyosz unveiled a package of proposals for renewing the vocational education system for the knowledge-based, innovative economy.

Vocational education is in need of a broad renewal, as minor patch-ups are not enough, said Mgyosz vice-president Gabor Gablini.

The industrial association looked upon Germany’s dual education system as a model when drafting the recommendations, which have been sent to the government, he added.

Mgyosz recommends in the package that pupils be required to pass a standardised test of basic reading, writing, comprehension and arithmetic skills before leaving primary school.

Pupils who fail the test could be offered a place in a one- or two-year remedial programme, which they would have to complete before entering vocational school.

The aim of the proposal is to ensure students are sufficiently equipped to start vocational school and reduce the number of dropouts. Mgyosz also proposes raising the compulsory school age to 18 from the present 16. The Orban government lowered the ceiling in 2012.

The proposal would set apprenticeship stipend rates at 40% or 60% of the minimum wage, depending on the type of vocational school. (napi.hu; portfolio.hu; hirado.hu; hvg.hu; origo.hu)
20th September, 2018

Car ownership at record levels

The proportion of households which own cars has reached 46%, the highest ever, according to a survey by Median.

The number of passenger cars reached 3.58 million in the first half of 2018 after continuously rising for six years.

There were 272,000 car registrations last year, including imported cars, and 150,000 registrations during the first half of 2018.

Most passenger cars are privately owned, with only 2-3% of households owning company cars.

The average age of vehicles, according to the survey, was 13.9 years in the first quarter, 0.7 years higher than two years ago.

The average annual distance travelled by cars came to 17,000 kilometres, around 800 kilometres more than in 2016. (index.hu; portfolio.hu; autoszektor.hu; napi.hu)
20th September, 2018

Diakhitel disburses Ft 6.8bn in loans

State-owned student loan provider Diakhitel Kozpont disbursed Ft 6.8 billion in loans in the first half and finished the first half with zero profit.

Total assets stood at Ft 258 billion at the end of June, down 2.7% from the end of 2017.

Since it began operations in 2001, Diakhitel has laid out Ft 335 billion to students. Almost 360,000 students have taken out general purpose loans. More than 31,000 have used special-purpose loans to cover tuition costs.

Outstanding credits stood at Ft 254 billion at the end of June. (profitline.hu; napi.hu; portfolio.hu; magyaridok.hu)
20th September, 2018

University to help startups

The Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) is launching a programme to give students and researchers the practical knowledge they need to launch their own startups, it was announced on Wednesday.

The university is teaming up with Hiventures Venture Capital Fund Management (a unit of state development bank MFB) and nonprofit Enterprise Hungary on the programme, dubbed Startup Campus BME Powered by Hiventures.

The partners signed an agreement on the programme on Wednesday. Participants can get funding of up to Ft 9 million per project. (gazdasagportal.hu, orientpress.hu, napi.hu)

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