Cooperation and the expansion of economic ties between China and central and eastern European countries offers clear benefits to all parties involved, the economy ministry quoted Economy Minister Mihály Varga as saying at a roundtable discussion organised by the Sino-CEEF Fund on Sunday.
As a “highly open economy” and a part of central-eastern Europe, “which is considered the engine of growth in the European Union”, Hungary has an interest in the expansion of international cooperation, particularly cooperation with China, Varga was quoted as saying in his opening address.
It is an increasingly common view among experts that the global economy is stuck in a low-growth trap, the minister said. One way to break out of it could be by having the various national governments support economic policies that promote growth. Hungary made the decision to pursue such an economic policy years ago, Varga said.
The minister noted that in 2010, Hungary introduced a strict fiscal policy thanks to which it has been able to keep its budget deficit consistently under 3 percent of GDP over the past several years. Hungary restructured its tax system with a view to promoting growth, investment and job creation and has been successful in reducing the public debt, he added.
The country’s economic performance has confirmed that these measures have been successful, Varga said, arguing that the economy has been on a growth path since 2013 while the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent from 11.6 since 2010.
On the topic of Hungarian-Chinese trade relations, Varga said bilateral trade turnover exceeded 7.1 billion dollars last year, an 8.2 percent increase over 2015.
The conference was also attended by Sino-CEEF Fund chairman Jiang Jianqing and former British prime minister Gordon Brown, the organisation’s chief advisor.