Hungary tightens rules for foreign investors, Poland mulls similar move

Viktor Orban Trianon

Foreign investors in Hungary will have to apply for a special permit in order to acquire more than 10 per cent of local companies deemed strategically important.

In a decree published on May 26, making use of controversial emergency legislation which some critics have described as creating the EU’s first dictatorship, Hungary’s government stipulates that foreign investors undertaking deals worth more than one million euros in sectors like healthcare, energy, food production, waste management, construction, finance, shipping, defence and information technology will need to submit documentation to the minister of innovation and technology, who will have 45 days to either approve or deny the request.

The rules will be in place for the rest of 2020, with the term “foreigner” applying to investors from outside the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

“This is not a question of economics but also of sovereignty,” said Tamás Schanda, a deputy minister at the Innovation and Technology Ministry, adding that the new rules would protect Hungarian companies from foreigners who want to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to gain market share.

Source: emerging-europe

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