One more reflection from my stay in Budapest: The differences between Hungary and Sweden are fewer and less obvious every time I come back here and it is incredible how swift and dramatic change has been. One thing that remains, however, is that wages still relatively low.
That means that labour-intensive systems are not a problem. Despite the fact that this is a high-tech country with access to the same tools and methods as Sweden they sometimes choose ways of doing things that are rather “old”. Quite simple solutions would improve procedures, save time and use less people. But since labour is so cheap there is not enough incentive for such innovation.
Frans wrote a post a while ago where he showed how you can stimulate innovation by giving yourself limits; if you face a problem you will go around it and find a new method that makes the end result even better. It will be interesting to see what processes that will start in Hungary when labour costs become a limitation and they have to make use of the high level of education. Today many companies establish factories in Eastern Europe because it is cheaper. In the future the contribution of these countries to European economy will be much more dynamic than that.