Riga, November 5 (MTI) – The deal with China on upgrading the Budapest-Belgrade rail line was signed on Saturday during a China-CEE summit in Riga, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told journalists.
Szijjártó said that Hungary and China had reached “a new milestone” in ties. Hungary has always shown commitment to furthering cooperation between central and eastern Europe and China. But today’s agreement concerns the first large-scale cross-border CEE investment financed by China, he added.
He noted that the region’s north-south infrastructure is less developed than that traversing east and west, adding that China had “a very important role” to play in developing the former.
The minister emphasised the importance of investment cooperation with China, given its financial strength and high technological standards.
The agreement signed today concerns Hungarian state rail company MÁV entrusting a China-Hungary joint venture that will be responsible for carrying out the upgrade of the Budapest-Belgrade line, he noted.
The JV will establish railway companies, and given that MAV has entrusted these companies with carrying out the project, all European Union regulations will be met, the minister said.
Also signed was an agreement on opening financial negotiations which ensures that the conditions for the loan are linked to the proportion of participation by Hungarian companies in the project in such a way that their participation is maximised, he said.
Further, an agreement is being signed on Chinese investment in Hungary, Szijjártó said. China’s aim is to locate production in Europe and to expand its presence on the continent. So far 3.7 billion US dollars of Chinese investments have arrived in Hungary, mainly in production. New Chinese investments are coming to Hungary in the car industry, he added.
The current agreements will ensure that Hungary remains one of the most important destinations for Chinese investments, Szijjarto said.