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Jul 09, 2018

Hungary's FM: It's in the interests of both Central Europe and the EU for cooperation to be tighter with China

“It is extremely bad news for the EU that we are in a period preceding a general global trade war," the foreign minister said

Hungary's foreign minister has said that it is in the interests of both Central Europe and the whole of the EU for cooperation to be tighter with China. 

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, added that it is in the interests of the EU for global trade to be free and fair. 

The minister made the remarks following a meeting of the heads of government of China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (China-CEEC) in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán represented Hungary at the event, which also included Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and the President of the Bank of China, Siqing Chen. 

“It is extremely bad news for the EU that we are in a period preceding a general global trade war, because a possible war of this nature would lead to a significant further reduction in the European Union’s competitiveness," the foreign minister said. 

“It is in the interests of the EU for global trade to be free and fair, and for the fewest possible restrictive measures to hinder our trade, investment and economic relations," he added. 

Minister Szijjártó said that when the countries of Central Europe are developing an open, free and unhindered cooperation with China, they are facilitating the dynamic expansion of European competitiveness not only relative to relations between China and Central Europe, but also relations between China and Europe in general. 

The minister highlighted that Hungary exports the most to China from the region and the most significant Chinese investments are in Hungary. He added that an emphasis is being placed on increasing financial cooperation to enable the inclusion of as much Chinese capital as possible in the development of the Hungarian economy. 

“Hungarian-Chinese cooperation is expanding dynamically in all fields," he said. 

Minister Szijjártó said the flagship of cooperation between the two countries, and between Central Europe and China, is the Budapest-Belgrade high speed railway line, which he said was “on track”. 

“Furthermore, in view of the fact that Hungary and China will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year, an agreement has been concluded concerning a 5-7 point long-term action plan aimed at raising relations to a new dimension," he concluded.