Hungary’s foreign minister has urged Europe, the United States and China to sign an agreement on preserving free and fair global trade to prevent a global trade war.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the remarks while on an official visit to China, where he attended a “16+1” meeting of Chinese and central and eastern European trade ministers after holding bilateral talks with Chinese trade minister Zhong Shan, the deputy minister in charge of China’s customs authority and the governor of Zhejiang province.
“Since Hungary has a small, open and export-orientated economy, it is of great concern for us to see the ever-sharper divisions in global trade,” Minister Szijjártó said “With the introduction or planned introduction of tariffs and trade restrictions, a trade war is brewing between the US, China and the European Union - a trade war like this could have serious negative effects on export-oriented countries like those of central Europe, including Hungary,” he added.
He added that Hungary sends 80 percent of its exports to the EU, but its second-largest export market is the US, followed by China. Therefore, it would be completely against Hungary’s interests for its three largest export markets to enter into a trade war with one another. This is why Hungary urges the signing of a US-EU-Chinese agreement on the preservation of the freedom and fairness of the global economy and the prevention of a trade war, Minister Szijjártó stressed.
The minister said that Hungary will be one of the three European guests of honor alongside Germany and Britain at the China International Import Expo in November. He said the event will give Hungary the chance to showcase its pharmaceutical, agricultural, car industry and tourism-related products and services. He added that this could allow for the trade turnover between the two countries to hit a new record this year, noting that the value of Hungary’s exports to China reached a record 2.6 billion USD last year.
The minister also revealed that China’s customs office will send a delegation to Hungary in July to lift the country’s ban on Hungarian poultry imports that was imposed after an outbreak of bird flu in 2015.