Hungary strikes 100 million USD export deal with China

Hungarian exports to China increased by 23 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in the previous year

Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has signed several agreements that could see Hungarian food industry exports to China exceed 100 million USD this year.

Szijjártó and China's Deputy Commerce Minister Zhong Shan opened the Hungarian-Chinese investment and trade forum with the participation of around 40 Hungarian enterprises sand 50 Chinese companies.

Szijjártó also met with Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and with the Deputy Minister of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Sun Dawei.

It was revealed that Chinese authorities would be lifting their ban on the import of Hungarian goose and duck meat, which was introduced last year as a result of the bird flu virus. This also opened an opportunity to close negotiations on exports of chicken and turkey.

In addition, the auditing of another four Hungarian companies along with the three who already have valid import licences for frozen pork will be ordered.

“We have also successfully brought negotiations on the protocol for the export of milk products to a close, and this means that the Chinese authorities will begin the preliminary expert and quality testing of the Hungarian enterprises involved," he said.

The Hungarian and Chinese parties concluded four agreements on the side-lines of the ministerial level China and Eastern-Central European investment and trade expo, Szijjártó assessed this as another breakthrough in Hungarian-Chinese economic and trade relations.

Last year, the largest volume of imports from Central Europe arrived in China from Hungary and 2015 was the first year ever in which China was Hungary’s number one trade partner outside the European Union.

Hungarian exports to China increased by 23 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in the previous year, while food industry exports grew by 250 percent, the minister highlighted.

To “maintain momentum” within the sector, a new food safety cooperation will be launched that could provide a market advantage to Hungarian companies since Hungary’s food safety regulations are the strictest in Europe and the GMO-free status of Hungarian agriculture is included in the country’s constitution.

Based on Hungarian-Chinese economic, trade and business relations, Minister Szijjártó said the forum was a clear success that the main target of the Hungarian Government’s policy of opening towards the East, namely that the country should become the main bridgehead for the economic expansion of successful Chinese companies in Europe, appeared to be reaching fruition.

“Our goal is for successful companies that bring production capacities to Europe bring them to Hungary. Last year, the 4th, 5th and 6th most investment in Hungary came from China, India and Japan, respectively. This clearly indicates that Hungary can provide an attractive investment environment," he highlighted.

The fact that the total value of Chinese investments in Hungary exceeded 3.5 billion USD last year and that Chinese companies are now providing work for 7,500 people in Hungary is a great success, he concluded.