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Hungary-Light Industry and Food Processing

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The government neglected the consumer-oriented light-industry and food-processing branches of the economy during its push to develop heavy industry in the 1950s. This policy resulted in shortages, poor quality, a narrow product mix, and slow development of new products. Since that time, production of light industrial goods, such as textiles, garments, furniture, pulp, and other products, has since improved significantly. In 1985 Hungary exported about 65 percent of its silk fabric production, 50 percent of its clothing and footwear output, and 25 percent of its textiles.

Although Hungary has not had food shortages for years, its food-processing branch has modernized slowly and produces only a limited range of foodstuffs. Given the importance of foodstuffs in Hungary's export profile, the slow growth of the food-processing industry has prevented the country from capturing potential markets. In the late 1980s, the branch's main products included wine, flour, canned goods, sugar, beer, dairy products, and meat products. After 1970 many state and collective farms set up food-processing operations (see Agricultural Organization , this ch.).

Data as of September 1989

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