OREANDA-NEWS. “Together, the countries of the Visegrád Group – Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – represent a highly attractive investment destination; their economic growth and most indices concerning their expected future performance all exceed the European Union average”, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs László Szabó from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Friday in Budapest at a forum of V4 chambers of commerce.

“Visegrád cooperation has led to the establishment of the world’s 15th most important economic power”, the Minister of State said, adding that “Most global companies have realised that it is safer to keep their production and research & development in Europe, amongst others because of the quality and level of training of the workforce”.

Mr. Szabó also said that major changes had begun in the country in 2010 and in his view the Chamber of Commerce and Industry had performed valuable work within this process. As examples, he mentioned that unemployment had fallen to just 5 percent from 11.8 percent in 2010, a dual training system had been introduced that takes into account the requirements of industry, and foreign trade had broken all previous records in 2015.

The Minister of State also stated that V4 cooperation represents a true partnership with relation to the immigration crisis, while Brexit poses yet another challenge, but also an opportunity. At the conference, President of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) László Parragh stressed that Hungary’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry system had gained strength since 2010, and instead of centralisation the powers afforded to the Chamber by the state had been delegated to regional chambers of commerce and industry.

“The major economic policy decisions made in Hungary following 2010 were arrived at after consulting the Chamber of Commerce and Industry”, Mr. Parragh said. The MKIK President highlighted the fact that chambers of industry supervise the vocational training system, their expert opinions draw attention to economic interests within public education and in higher education they are working to facilitate the dual training system, which is becoming increasingly popular among students.

According to Mr. Parragh, chambers should play a greater role in adult education and assuring a trained workforce and facilitating wage increases both pose a challenge.

At the conference, President of the Pest County and Érd Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zoltán Vereczkey stressed that V4 cooperation will continue to be based on firm foundations if those are also reinforced by economic foundations, and facilitating this process is one of the most important tasks of Chambers.