Hungary’s innovation and technology minister László Palkovics discussed issues around the reconstruction of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line with Ning Jizhe, deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in Beijing. Following the talks, Palkovics told MTI that the consortium winning implementation of the project would be contracted before the end of May, while a financing agreement would be signed with China’s Eximbank before mid-July. Construction could start after the two agreements take effect, he added. Parties at the talks agreed to set up a project management committee with five Hungarian and five Chinese members, Palkovics said. He added that Ning Jizhe would visit Hungary in June or July to inspect works under way.
During the weekend, the minister discussed auto industry and inter-university cooperation in southwestern China’s Chongqing. Palkovics attended a Chinese-Hungarian auto industry innovation forum organised by the Hungarian consulate general and the Chongqing Science and Technology Bureau. The forum presented opportunities offered by the Hungarian-Chinese Technology Transfer Centre as well as developments in the “smart auto industry”. Speaking to Hungarian public media, he said most of the Hungarian auto industry’s research and development concerns the development of electronically-controlled vehicle systems. The minister said Hungary was “particularly strong” on this front, highlighting the unique infrastructure of the self-driving vehicle test track in Zalaegerszeg, in western Hungary.
Palkovics was accompanied on his trip by Zsolt Szalay, head of the department of automobiles and vehicle manufacturing at Budapest’s University of Technology and Economics, who discussed, among other things, inter-university cooperation.
The minister also took part in a roundtable discussion on cooperation between Hungarian and Chinese universities. The event was attended by representatives from 16 universities and 11 other organisations involved in education.