All political and cultural conditions are in place for further developing economic ties between Hungary and China, the foreign minister said in Beijing, prior to signing bilateral business contracts. An effective economic cooperation with China is key for Hungary as China, the world’s largest economy today, offers Hungarian businesses a major market, Péter Szijjártó said. Applying cutting-edge technology, Chinese businesses help efforts to increase the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy. Szijjártó noted that Hungary had last year established a network of trade offices with headquarters in Shanghai, adding that Hungary’s Eximbank had opened credit lines to promote Hungarian businesses in the Chinese market. China has become Hungary’s top trading partner outside the European Union with bilateral trade totalling a record 8.7 billion dollars in 2018, the minister said. He identified cooperation possibilities for Hungarian firms in IT and water management, as well as in the pharmaceutical, transport and food production sectors.
After his address, Szijjártó signed an agreement on the international airports of Budapest and Xi’an to allow the expansion of the number of destinations for flights. He said that Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter also signed an agreement which Szijjártó said could boost pharmaceutical exports. The University of Szeged also signed an agreement with Huawei on involving Hungarian researchers in the Chinese telecommunication company’s R+D activities, Szijjártó noted.
Continuing good cooperation with telecoms giant Huawei is a national economic and strategic interest for Hungary, Szijjártó said after talks with James Li, Huawei Technologies European regional chairman, and William Wu, head of the Hungarian subsidiary. The minister told MTI that he had made it clear to the Huawei officials that no company in Hungary would suffer a disadvantage because of its nationality as long as it respects Hungary’s rules of law.
Szijjártó said Hungary’s economy was undergoing a dimensional shift, which coincides with global trends that see digital solutions and 5G technologies become basic conditions of business success. It is a basic interest for small countries with an open economy, such as Hungary, to be ahead of the competition in 5G infrastructure, he said. From this point of view, the strategic cooperation agreement Hungary signed with Huawei years ago was of great importance.
Szijjártó also held talks with company heads of China Ocean and Aviation Group Co Ltd and Hainan Airlines in Beijing.