In a video message posted on Facebook on Saturday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary and China are “strategic partners”. Cooperation with China comes with “a lot of benefits”, he said, acknowledging the decision to invite Hungary as a guest of honor to the World Power Battery Conference in the Chinese city of Yibin.
Minister Szijjártó called the government’s Eastern Opening policy of seeking mutually beneficial cooperation with countries in Asia a “great success story”. That policy has included incentives for Chinese investors to pick Hungary, with its investment-friendly environment and low corporate tax rate, for their bases in Europe, he added. Chinese companies formed the biggest group of foreign investors in Hungary in 2020 and they are set to take the title this year again, he said. Hungary has become a “meeting point” for investors from the East and the West, he added, pointing to Chinese battery makers that have brought their activities to Hungary. It was a “great honour” to announce investments in Hungary by Chinese battery makers CATL and EVE Energy, he said, adding that a local investment by another big EV battery maker would be announced soon. Hungary is now the fourth-biggest battery maker in the world and is set to become the second-largest when planned investments are completed, he said. Batteries have become Hungary’s number one export and contributed to the country’s export record last year, the foreign minister added. He thanked Chinese investors for showing confidence in Hungary and the Hungarian people and said the country would continue to offer incentives to Chinese investors to expand their existing capacities or bring new factories to Hungary.