Beijing  (MTI) – The Bank of China will open its centre for Central and Eastern Europe in Budapest before the end of the year, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told MTI on the sidelines of his China talks on Monday.

“The ninth largest bank in the world will coordinate its activities in the region from Hungary,” the foreign minister said, adding that the move “is a great acknowledgement of the Hungarian environment.”

The BoC is in close cooperation with Hungary’s Eximbank, and has so far assisted Wanhua’s investment project at Borsodchem with jointly provided loans totalling 70 million euros, Szijjarto said. The BoC and Eximbank are jointly financing other developments in Hungary, the minister added.

As part of his China programme, Szijjarto also had talks concerning modernisation of the Budapest-Belgrade railway, a project to which the Chinese government will prepare a preliminary feasibility study.

Earlier on Monday, Szijjarto held a lecture at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences about current challenges for the European Union. In his presentation, he said that “Europe should restore the reputation of labour and the family”, it should return to fiscal discipline and stop further growth of the national debt of its members. Europe could only be strong if it can develop close partnerships with emerging regions, which involves building stronger ties with China. It is also key for Europe’s success to reduce its unilateral energy dependency, Szijjarto added, and pointed to the importance of Central Europe’s north-south gas pipeline. To that end, building LNG terminals should be made a European priority, he argued.


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