Szijjarto: Chinese investments could ensure Hungary growth amid recession

Large Chinese investments may allow Hungary to maintain growth, as a exception at a time when Europe is threatened to fall into recession, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in New York late on Wednesday, after talks with his Chinese counterpart.

Szijjarto and Wang Yi met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss bilateral ties and major geopolitical issues, the foreign ministry said.

Since Hungary is benefitting a lot from bilateral cooperation built on mutual interests and respect, maintaining that cooperation is in Hungary’s national interest, Szijjarto said. China will be the largest investor in Hungary in 2022, as it was in 2020, Szijjarto said, noting Chinese battery maker CATL’s recently announced 3,000 billion forint (EUR 7.5bn) investment in eastern Hungary, the largest investment ever in the country.

Szijjarto said that Wang had reassured him that China valued Hungary’s stable political-economic status and competitive investment environment. Hungary will therefore encourage Chinese companies to consider the country a European economic bridgehead for their further investments. He noted a record volume of bilateral trade last year, adding that its volume had already increased by more than 7 percent to total 6.5 billion dollars in the first six months of 2022.

Cooperation between Hungary and China has always rested on mutual respect, Szijjarto said, adding that Beijing had never set any political criteria in connection with economic matters. “This is the foundation of mutual trust” between the countries, he said.

“Based on this trust, we urge the European Union to maintain a similarly effective and mutually beneficial cooperation with China,” Szijjarto said.

The Hungarian foreign minister welcomed the restart of direct commercial and cargo flights between the two countries after the coronavirus pandemic.

Hungary continues to support the One China principle, Szijjarto said.

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