Engineering and Chemicals
Throughout the postwar period, the engineering and
branches have been the most important in Hungary's
sector. The engineering sector employed about 32 percent
Hungary's industrial workers in 1986 and produced 25.5
the country's total industrial output; the chemical sector
employed 7.5 percent of the industrial work force and
for 19 percent of industrial output.
Hungary's vehicle-manufacturing subbranch emphasized
production of buses and axle housing and accounted for
percent of the engineering branch's output in 1986.
assigned production of large buses to Hungary in the
Hungary's Ikarus bus enterprise became the world's
bus producer, accounting for about 20 percent of the
exports in 1980. The engineering branch also produced
diesel locomotives, river vessels, floating cranes,
tools, passenger elevators, batteries, telephone
lighting equipment, and other products.
The chemical branch grew faster than any of the other
branches after the 1960s, and in 1986 the chemical
enterprises accounted for 19 percent of industrial output.
main subbranches produced fertilizers, pharmaceuticals,
petrochemicals. The pharmaceutical industry was more than
century old and accounted for 1.5 percent of world
Hungary ranked second to Switzerland in per capita
exports and fifth in the world in overall pharmaceutical
It was also Comecon's largest pharmaceutical supplier.
Pharmaceutical production expanded at a nearly 18 percent
rate since 1960, satisfying 80 percent of Hungary's
Western markets purchased 40 percent of Hungary's
exports. In 1986 the pharmaceutical industry's output
about US$513 million.
Rapidly rising demand for synthetic materials and a
replace imports with domestic production prompted Hungary
begin developing a petrochemical industry on the eve of
oil crisis. The project, which required significant
and integration with the Soviet economy, proceeded despite
changes that the oil crisis brought to the market. In 1989
Hungarian refineries produced petroleum products, but four
too small to take advantage of economies of scale.
expected a large portion of Hungary's refinery capacity to
underutilized until sometime in the 1990s. The
chemical-additive, and phosphorus-fertilizer branches were
Data as of September 1989