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The Hungarian government urges that the investment agreement between China and the European Union should take effect as soon as possible, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Tuesday. Szijjártó said on Facebook that he held a teleconference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, adding that they had been in a working relationship for over eight years. “We have always seen eye to eye and our talks were held on a basis of mutual respect; if we look back objectively on Hungarian-Chinese cooperation in the past eight years we can clearly call it a success story,” Szijjártó said. Hungary is now “the number one” investment destination for Chinese companies in central Europe, which could help the country avoid a recession hitting Europe, he added. A plant being built near Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, by one of the largest battery makers in the world will help keep the Hungarian economy on a growth path in the long run, he said. The Hungarian government is working to “redirect” ties between the EU and China to partnership so they are not affected by “the failed sanctions”, Szijjártó added. “We urge that the China-EU investment agreement should take effect as soon as possible. As Covid’s grip eases, flights are being relaunched between Hungary and China, including flights between Budapest and Shanghai, Chungking, and Tientsin,” he said.
Szijjártó said he was grateful for his counterpart’s efforts to build bilateral ties from which “Hungary has benefitted a lot”.