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Hungary is tightening its financial ties with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the largest bank in the world by total assets, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said on Wednesday after signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the bank’s managing director. The bilateral memorandum of understanding is important for strengthening Hungarian-Chinese financial ties and aims to develop strategic cooperation based on mutual interests in the long term, a statement by the ministry said. The document states that the ICBC is ready to actively cooperate in renminbi bond issues and support cross-border renminbi business relations, payment transactions and the financing of infrastructure projects. ICBC will be ready to develop links with Hungarian banks interested in artificial intelligence, cloud-based services and other digital developments.
The bank will also consider the opening of a Budapest branch in order to simplify Hungarian-Chinese transactions and support projects under the arrangements of the Belt and Road Initiative. The sides were in agreement that ICBC’s presence in Hungary, and central Europe more widely, would further strengthen Hungary’s role as a regional financial centre, the statement added.