Addressing an online conference organized within the framework of the 17+1 China-CEEC Summit earlier today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán began by thanking Chinese President Xi Jinping for convening the summit “despite the extraordinary circumstances.” Prime Minister Orbán noted that the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago and has since not only transformed our everyday lives but also marked the beginning of a “new era” in global economics and politics.
“Even though a year has gone by, we are at the exact same spot we were last spring: The whole world wants to purchase a product that has far less supply than demand. What masks and ventilators had been a year ago, the vaccine is now today,” PM Orbán said.
According to the prime minister, the lives of our citizens and the restarting of our economies are now at stake; therefore, an ever more constructive East-West cooperation is vital. The closing of the China-EU negotiations on the joint protection of investments was a good step in this direction, PM Orbán added.
“Hungary is grateful to the People’s Republic of China, and President Xi Jinping personally, for all the help they have provided in these challenging times,” Prime Minister Orbán said, reminding those present that last year Hungary managed to create an airbridge for transporting tens of millions of pieces of medical equipment from China to Hungary.
Commenting on the topic of global trade, Prime Minister Orbán said that Hungary is a strong proponent of free and fair global trade, an issue the PM called more important now than ever before. “The fewer obstacles there are to economic and trade cooperation, the faster our economies will get back on track,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Orbán also expressed his gratitude to China’s scientific community for developing COVID-19 vaccines and letting Hungarian experts study their manufacturing process. Based on these expert opinions, the PM concluded, Hungary’s national vaccine regulation authority could approve the administration of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.