The designation of China as Hungary’s strategic partner “is not simply a matter of communication”, Szijjártó said at the opening of a China-central Europe trade exhibition. “The Hungarian government takes this seriously, too,” the foreign ministry quoted him as saying. Szijjártó noted that China’s GDP is now higher than that of the EU. While in 2010 China accounted for 9% of global GDP and the EU 22%, China’s share has increased to 18% and the EU’s has fallen to 17, he said. “This also shows that if the EU sees China a rival, it will lose out … In recent years it has become obvious that China has a competitive advantage in a number of areas of the economy,” he said. “If the EU wants to profit from Chinese ties, mutual trust, respect and cooperation based on mutual benefits must be highlighted rather than rivalry,” he added. “Hungary does not see China as a risk or threat but as a state that brings much profit though cooperation,” he said. Szijjártó added that China was now Hungary’s largest trading partner outside Europe.