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The Belt and Road Initiative coincides with Hungarian national interests

At the beginning of the meeting at the State Guesthouse, Mr. Orbán said that maintaining the order of free trade and the freedom of the world economy is a major task, and the Belt and Road cooperation is an important guarantee.

He added that “We Hungarians need an open world economy”, and therefore Hungary would like to continue to participate in this cooperation in the future. The Hungarian government, he said, “shall not accept any kind of external ideological pressure”, and will always follow national interests.

The Prime Minister said that it was an honour to be invited to the second international forum on the Belt and Road Initiative, which he described as an important event.

The Prime Minister also said that Chinese companies are making a significant contribution to modernisation of the Hungarian economy, with Chinese investments in Hungary amounting to some USD 4.5 billion. He asked Chinese businesses to maintain increases in capital investment in Hungary in the future.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

Welcoming the Hungarian government delegation, Li Keqiang praised close Chinese-Hungarian relations and cooperation, which he said could also extend to new areas, including digitalisation. He added that this cooperation – which has already yielded tangible results – offers enormous opportunities, not only for large companies, but also for the two countries’ small and medium-sized businesses.

The Chinese prime minister went on to speak about the importance of free trade and economic prosperity, which he described as strengthening world peace.

After the talks, in the presence of the Hungarian and Chinese prime ministers, the two countries concluded several bilateral agreements; these were signed on behalf of the Hungarian government by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics. The agreements concern the establishment of a Hungarian-Chinese cooperation centre, cooperation in sport, the “Digital Silk Road” and the establishment of a task force promoting barrier-free trade. The parties also signed a bilateral agreement enabling the export of Hungarian poultry to China.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

In Beijing Mr. Orbán will also have talks with President Xi Jinping, and on Friday and Saturday he will attend the second Belt and Road Forum, together with 36 other heads of state and government and other world figures. The forum is the highest-level international event related to the 2013 worldwide economic and infrastructure Belt and Road Initiative, and also China’s most important event this year. Speaking recently about the results achieved so far within the Belt and Road Initiative, Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi said that so far 126 countries and 29 international organisations had signed cooperation agreements with China.