Economy Hungary

Hungary to ink at least 16 deals with China – FM

| 2024-05-06 2 min read

Hungary to ink at least 16 deals with China – FM

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Chinese President Xi Jinping will commence a three-day visit to Hungary from Wednesday, 8 May, having arrived in France on Monday, 6 May, where he met French President Emmanuelle Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Xi’s delegation includes Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Chinese Finance Minister Lan Foan and Chinese Business Minister Wang Wentao.

Hungarian Minister of Trade and Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto said on Monday that the visit “will significantly contribute to strengthening Hungary (and) hopefully, to the success of peace efforts”. Szijjarto added that at least 16 and up to 18 agreements will be signed during Xi’s visit, and mentioned a “bilateral partnership covering the entire nuclear energy spectrum” as well as agricultural tools and tourism.

On Russia’s war on Ukraine, Szijjarto said “China is unquestionably one of the strongest states in the pro-peace camp that keeps emphasising the importance of peace.” Szijjarto noted that China was the largest foreign investor in Hungary in 2020 and 2023, adding that Hungary is now global player in the “automotive industry’s technological revolution”.

Thursday conference underscores bilateral friendship

Hungarian Minister for National Economy Marton Nagy said projects involving infrastructure, energy, trade, logistics and the digital have brought “strong vitality to the bilateral relationship (and) bolstered Hungary’s development and benefited both nations”, at a conference jointly organised by Chinese state outlet Xinhua and Hungarian media group ATV, in Budapest on on Thursday, 2 May.

Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Gong Tao also cited the Hungary-Serbia rail link project and Chinese battery maker CATL’s proposed plant in Debrecen, east Hungary as examples of successful bilateral cooperation. “Hungary should carry on our cooperation, and more importantly, our friendship,” Nagy added .

Chinese-Hungarian Business Chamber president Erno Peto said Hungary’s role in the economic relations between Central and Eastern Europe and China will be ever more important, adding that Hungary could become a platform for EU market access, a logistics hub and a financial centre for Chinese businesses.

Liu Hongcai, deputy head of the Chinese Association for International Understanding, said China and Hungary have contributed to the exchanges between Eastern and Western civilizations.

The successful combination of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Hungary’s “Eastern Opening” policy has created a strong dynamic for strengthening both countries’ economic ties, according to Xinhua. The BRI has been beset with problems, however, and Italy became the latest European country to leave the trillion-euro project last year.