Orban: Belt and Road Initiative in line with Hungary’s interests

The Belt and Road Initiative is fully in harmony with Hungarian interests, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday in Beijing, at talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

Ahead of the talks, Orban said it was a great “honour” to be invited to the second forum of the economic initiative, to be held on Friday and Saturday in Beijing.

Belt and Road is a “serious safeguard of worldwide free trade and the freedom of world economy”, Orban said. As “Hungarians need an open world economy,” Hungary is ready to cooperate further within the initiative, and will reject “all outside ideological pressure” to the contrary because the Hungarian government will “always act according to national interests”, Orban said.

Chinese companies have greatly contributed to modernising the Hungarian economy, Orban said. Chinese investments have now reached some 4.5 billion dollars in Hungary, he noted, and proposed that the inflow of capital investments be upheld in the future.

In his greeting to the Hungarian delegation, Li Keqiang praised Sino-Hungarian cooperation and expressed hope that it should be extended further in sectors such as digitisation. Cooperation between the countries has already brought results and offers great opportunities for large companies as well as SMEs of both countries, he said. Free trade and economic development will strengthen world peace, too, Li said.

After the talks, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Innovation and Technology Minister Laszlo Palkovics signed bilateral agreements with Chinese officials. Among them were agreements to set up a Hungarian-Chinese cooperation centre, cooperation in sports, creating a “digital Silk Road”, setting up a working group to facilitate bilateral trade and the export of Hungarian poultry to China.

Orban met Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Thursday, the prime minister’s press chief told MTI. They marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Hungary and China, the successes in economic cooperation and European affairs.

On Friday and Saturday, Orban will attend the Belt and Road forum, where 37 heads of state and world leaders are expected.

Source and photo: MTI

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