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Sunday, December 10, 2023

PM: Orban: Chinese-Hungarian cooperation increasingly important

By: V4 Agency

Cooperation between China and Hungary is becoming increasingly important, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a video message for the opening ceremony of the Chinese Import-Export Fair in Guangzhou (Canton) on Thursday, the prime minister’s press office reports.

Founded in 1957, the event is China’s oldest, largest and most visited fair, and one of the busiest international foreign trade exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region. It is hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Guangdong Provincial Government every spring and autumn, with the China Foreign Trade Center (CFTC) as its main organiser.

The coronavirus pandemic has been affecting trade between the countries of the world for almost two years, PM Orban emphasised in his English-language speech addressed to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and other high-ranking foreign politicians. The crisis caused by Covid-19 also showed the high degree of interdependence among states and the stake each country has in the successful crisis management of others, both in terms of health care and the economy, the Hungarian premier pointed out.

Last year’s events made it clear for everyone that extraordinary changes are happening in the world economy, Mr Orban stated. Asian countries and companies play an increasingly important role in shaping the global economy, and capital-intensive Asian companies are acquiring an ever greater share of the world market, he said.

“The distribution of economic power is transforming before our eyes.”

There are serious debates in the European Union on how the new world economic order should be transformed following the pandemic, Hungary’s prime minister said, adding that the temptation is very strong in the West to reintroduce a world economic order based on the rivalry of great world powers.

The prime minister pointed out that this has been seen before and that he himself, had spent half his life in a world where the West was standing against the Soviet Union.

There are many people in the European Union who do not want to live in a world which is defined by tensions between the great powers, characterized by instability and the criticism of each other’s political and economic systems, he stated and stressed,

“Instead we want to live in a world based on trade, security, mutual respect and the unconditional recognition of each other’s sovereignty. The place where we Hungarians live, Central Europe, has always lost when world politics and the world economy was characterized by confrontation.

Therefore we prefer a world of peace, harmony, cooperation, trade and mutual investments,” Orban Viktor said.

It is important for Hungary to be involved in China’s economic development, as it is also important to ensure that China is present in Hungary and Central Europe as a trading partner, and as an investor. China is considered a crucial strategic partner of Hungary, who is committed to expanding the relationship between the two countries in every possible way, the Hungarian premier said, emphasising,

“We are thankful to China and personally to President Xi for involving Hungary in China’s vaccination cooperation program at a very early stage. Without the vaccines bought from China we would not have been able to carry out the quickest vaccination campaign of the European Union.”

He also underlined that cooperation between Hungary and China is becoming increasingly important seeing that China is expected to be one of the first economies to recover in the world.

The Hungarian-Chinese economic and trade relations relations developed rapidly last year. In 2020, China was Hungary’s most important trading partner outside Europe, and also ranked first regarding the volume of foreign investments coming to Hungary, PM Orban emphasised.

Mr Orban pointed out that an increasing number of internationally recognised companies such as Huawei, Bank of China, Lenovo, Semcorp, Wanhua and BYD are choosing Hungary to set up their European headquarters, which also shows that Chinese partners appreciate the favourable investment environment and conditions in the country.

In his closing remarks, Mr Orban emphasized that Hungary looks forward to further developing bilateral relations with China and expressed his conviction that trade forums such as the Canton Fair would create “trade bridges” between the two countries leading to many new business partners coming to Hungary.


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