Small and medium-sized enterprises should be given a bigger role in China-CEE economic cooperation, Hungary’s foreign affairs and trade minister told a roundtable discussion organised as part of the China-CEE summit in Budapest on Monday.
SMEs are the backbone of the Hungarian economy and one of the best ways they can attract more support is by convincing more and more large corporations to invest in Hungary, Péter Szijjártó said. SMEs, too, can become suppliers to the companies that invest here, the minister said.
He said the 16 CEE countries participating in the summit were friends, but at the same time competitors in the race to attract investors.
Hungary offers, among other things, a low corporate tax rate and support for the use and research and development of new technologies to foreign investors, Szijjártó said.
The presence of Hungarian firms on the Chinese market is also important, as is selecting the right sectors in which Hungarian companies can be successful there, the minister said. These areas include water management, the food industry and IT, he said.
China‘s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said that SMEs are considered a driving force of the “16-plus-1” cooperation.
He noted that the first China-CEE business forum was held in 2011 and since then, the “16-plus-1” cooperation had become more important and effective.
The minister said Hungarian and Chinese business representatives would sign a number of cooperation agreements worth over 800 million US dollars in total.
As we wrote today, the deadline for requesting to participate in the two-phase tender to upgrade the Hungarian stretch of the Budapest-Belgrade rail line is January 19, 2018. The contracting entity is Chinese-Hungarian Railway Nonprofit Ltd, the tender invitation published on the website of Hungarian state railways MÁV on Monday shows.