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China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been a “clear success”, György Matolcsy, the governor of Hungary’s central bank, told a conference organised by the central bank and the Chinese embassy in Budapest on Monday. Opening the conference to mark the initiative’s tenth year, Matolcsy noted that Hungary, in 2015, was the first European Union member state to join the BRI. The initiative has paved the way for infrastructure upgrades, including roads, railway and port investments, in many countries, he added. Matolcsy said the National Bank of Hungary, in 2013, was the first central bank in Europe to conclude a swap line agreement with the People’s Bank of China, and this has been renewed from year to year. He added that the NBH reached an agreement on a Renminbi clearing arrangement in 2015. He noted the launch of the NBH’s Renminbi Initiative to promote the RMB as an international currency, and he praised Hungary’s cooperation with China’s Fudan University.
The past ten years had “convinced everybody” that China and Europe must “cooperate very closely”, he said, adding that Hungarians were making efforts to prevent the formation of blocs in the world.