FM Péter Szijjártó: Hungary is China's European expansion base

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hungary has become one of China's European economic expansion bases said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó by telephone from Beijing on Wednesday.

"If Chinese businesses want to expand in Europe, increasingly, they think of Hungary" said Szijjártó after holding a four-hour marathon session with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Szijjártó noted that due to the fact that Hungary has Europe's most competitive investment environment, and other factors like the country's geographical location as well as its developed infrastructure Hungary attracted most Chinese investment in the region.

Last year and this year Hungarian export to China was also the highest in the region.

"China’s European expansion is a huge economic opportunity for Hungary", underlined the foreign minister.

The two sides agreed to raise bilateral relations to comprehensive strategic partnership level, which represents the highest level of cooperation with China said the foreign minister.

Szijjártó and his Chinese counterpart also discussed the Budapest-Belgrade railway line modernization project and decided they issue a construction tender at the end of next March. The details of the project has been discussed with China's National Development and Reform Council President as well. After the completion of the railway line one of the main routes of China's European exports will cross Hungary."

The two sides also agreed on the expansion of Hungarian agricultural exports to China. In the first eight months of 2016 Hungarian agricultural export to China grew by 71.5 percent - very soon, Hungarian corn and dairy products export to China will start, which means tens of millions of additional dollars for the Hungarian economy the foreign minister added.

Szijjártó announced that an agreement was reached with two Chinese banks to finance the purchase of ten new aircraft by Wizzair worth of one billion dollars.

Due to the fact that Hungary was the first country to sign an agreement with Beijing to join the "one belt one road" project, the first meeting of a joint working group was also held in the Chinese capital on Wednesday.

Szijjártó said as a sign of closer financial cooperation with China the Hungarian government issued one billion Yuan-denominated bonds; as a result of the improvement of financial cooperation between the two countries, Beijing pledged to support the inclusion of Hungary in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The Hungarian foreign minister added that the first 9 months of the year the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Hungary increased by 30 percent - recent measures taken by the Hungarian government offer Chinese tourist to apply for Hungarian visa in 13 cities across China.

Szijjártó has also announced that China will open a cultural center in Budapest.

The foreign minister stressed that Hungary will continue to urge the EU to recognize China as a market economy and conclude an investment agreement with the Asian country as soon as possible.

Péter Szijjártó asked his Chinese hosts to support Hungary's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

(MTI -


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