Beijing (MTI) – Hungary is a bridgehead in Chinese-European cooperation, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a meeting with Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto on Tuesday.
Bank of China to Open Regional Centre in Hungary
Wang expressed hope that Hungary will continue to fulfil this role, Szijjarto told MTI after the talks.
“It is very much perceptible that regional cooperation between China and the CEE region is handled as a priority in Beijing and China appreciates Hungary acting as a bridgehead,” he said.
Hungary has attracted the highest Chinese investment in central Europe, at around 3.5 billion dollars, Szijjarto said, adding that China would be going to step up investments abroad and Central Europe would obviously be a beneficiary of this endeavour. Wang said the Hungarian government’s “opening to the east” policy and the Chinese government’s “Silk Road diplomacy” concept are clearly reinforcing each other. Szijjarto added that Hungary represents one of the best transport routes for Chinese exports to Europe.
The minister noted that Hungary has been the first to set up a hub for regional tourism cooperation with China. Hungary’s Eximbank has been so far the only bank that contributed 30 million dollars to a 500 million dollar central European investment bank set up by China, he added.
Between 2003 and 2013, two-way trade increased by six-fold and Hungary had record-high exports of 2 billion dollars to China last year. During the first seven months of this year, exports to China further increased by an annual 8 percent.
“With my Chinese host we have reviewed the most important international developments in security policy and I assured him that it is in Hungary’s interest that the armed conflict in Ukraine is ended as a soon as possible by way of negotiations. Wang Yi also confirmed that it is in his country’s interest to know that Europe and the European Union are stable partners,” Szijjarto said.
Photo: MTI/China News Service / Hou Jü