Development and Finance from issue 2008/4

József Marjai

External Economic Policy in the 1970s and 1980s

- Abstract -

In the era under review, Hungary used bilateral negotiations with all partner countries to settle economic, financial and trade policy problems dating from the monarchy, the two world wars and thereafter. At this point Hungary not only clarified its bilateral relations but also joined GATT, the IMF and the World Bank, and in the autumn of 1988 signed a trade and cooperation agreement with the Common Market too. It is clear that with its successful agreements and standardisation endeavours, Hungary was alone in the Soviet regime in maintaining its independence in economic policy and its sovereignty in trade policy. In this period to the end of the 1980s, two simple guiding principles dominated the political practices of governmental foreign trade, according to which Hungarian companies had to be competitive under the conditions of the given market, while under the Comecon framework, assistance had to be given to ensure the economic policies of all member countries prevailed, reinforcing their positions on the international markets.


József Marjai, former Deputy Prime Minister

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