Hungary is an active participant in China's Belt and Road Initiative and wants to play a central role at the western end of the New Silk Road, Gabor Gion said in a statement sent to MTI.

As a result of Hungary's opening to the East policy, China has become Hungary's number one trading partner outside the European Union and second most important export market, he said. Foreign trade exceeded 7.95 billion US dollars in 2017, an over 11 percent increase from the previous year, he added.

Chinese companies operating in Hungary employ more than 10,000 people and there are seven Chinese companies among the Hungarian government's 79 strategic partners, he said.

The Hungarian government places great emphasis on strengthening bilateral political, trade and financial relations with China, he said, welcoming that Hungary has become a major target of Chinese investment in central-eastern Europe, totalling 4.2 billion dollars nationwide.

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