The most important contract was probably the one about Hungary’s entry into the SINO-CEE Fund, which Urbán signed with Jiang Jianqing, the president of the fund. The investment fund is the result of a co-operative agreement between the Chinese government and 16 Central-Eastern European countries within the so-called Sino-CEE “16+1” Cooperation Framework, which was established in November 2016 by the previous 16+1 Summit in Riga. The focus of the fund’s activities will be supporting making investments in Central-Eastern Europe.

Investments in infrastructure

After signing the contracts, the CEO of EXIM shared that – based on the decision of the Hungarian government – Hungary is going to invest EUR 50 million into the fund, the size of which is around EUR 10 billion. “If the experiences with the fund will be positive, the first investment will be complemented by another EUR 50 million,” Urbán said. According to the contract the fund will execute at least EUR 300 million of investments in Hungary. Although the fund is state-financed, it’s working based on the principles of the market economy. The centre of the fund’s activities is investment in infrastructure and producing both high-tech and consumer goods.

Further, Urbán signed an agreement about the establishment of the next investment fund, SINO-CEEF II, quasi as the next chapter after the successful investment fund of China and Central-Eastern Europe, the SINO-CEEF I. EXIM is going to take out its share with USD 70 million from the second “chapter” of the investment fund. In return for this engagement there should be at least USD 140 million invested in Hungary in the next few years.

So in total the fund will be managing almost USD 1 billion in total. The following areas will be the focus of the investment activities financed by the fund: energetics, telecommunication, infrastructure, technology, innovation, production and manufacturing industry, industry, agriculture, education, pharmacy, tourism and financial services.

USD 30 million invested, USD 91 million earned

Hungary invested USD 30 million in the SINO-CEEF I established in 2013. The fund has completed 13 investments in Central-Eastern Europe since its foundation. Only looking at Hungary, the fund invested about three times the amount chipped in by Hungary, namely USD 91 million, to be exact. From this capital they have financed the regional expansion of a Hungarian high-school institution, among others.

The third contract signed by the EXIM-CEO on that day was an agreement with the Bohai Transport Fund about the development of intelligent transport systems. Signing this contract happened right after the large summit meeting at a business meeting organised by EXIM, which also took place at the László Papp Sports Arena.

The event began with a podium discussion about the monetary-political aspects of the Hungarian-Chinese economic cooperation. It handled among other topics the first experiences with the Renminbi-denominated so-called Panda bonds, which was emitted by the Government Debt Management Agency, ÁKK, this July.

A representative of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) presented the results of the Renminbi Program started in February 2015 by the MNB and the ones of the Budapest Renminbi Initiative, which followed it shortly. Ákos Dölle represented EXIM in this discussion round, who is the director responsible for money- and capital market operations at the financial services company. Dölle presented, among other things, the possibilities of reducing foreign currency risk in Hungarian-Chinese trade.

Ratio of SMEs expected to rise

This EXIM event organised in the Tisza Room of the Sports Arena was followed by yet another EXIM event in the Duna Room, one floor below. It was opened by the presentation of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szíjjártó, and the Chinese Minister of Trade, Zhong Shan. Both spoke about the rise of the ratio of small and medium enterprises in bilateral trade.

During the podium discussion that followed, Urbán pointed out that this is exactly the process that his company will be helping with all the tools available to them – first of all long-term financing, taking over country-risk and also the provision of their own equity.


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