The foreign minister has revealed that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is setting up a research and development center in Budapest.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the investment, which will create jobs for at least 100 Hungarian engineers, is Huawei’s third in Hungary. He said cooperation between Hungary and China was better than ever. The investment represents a milestone in Hungary’s Opening to the East strategy.
According to MTI, the new center will focus on artificial intelligence, streaming, image processing, signal transmission technologies and extremely large distribution systems. The development project will give the country an opportunity to further boost the reputation of Hungarian engineering skills.
Minister Szijjártó noted that Huawei was the first Chinese company that Hungary signed a strategic cooperation with seven years ago. Players in the Hungarian telecommunications market have greatly relied on the company’s technologies over the years, he added. The company’s logistics center in Hungary is its largest outside China, he said. The minister added that despite the pandemic, Huawei has announced a significant investment in Hungary, and he thanked the company for its donations to anti-pandemic efforts.
The minister said the strategy of opening to the East had resulted in a 22 percent increase in Hungarian exports to the East over ten years and 25 percent growth in trade. Last year, 60 percent of investments, in value terms, in Hungary came from the East and 40 percent of new jobs were linked to such companies.
Minister Szijjártó said one of the main objectives of the strategy was to develop close, pragmatic cooperation based on mutual benefits with China. Over the past ten years, 5 billion US dollars-worth of Chinese investments have been carried out in Hungary, and Chinese companies employ 15,000 Hungarians, he added.
The minister said it was easy to understand why Hungary was the first EU country to join the Belt and Road initiative. Last year, China was Hungary’s 10th most important trade partner.