Or­ban wel­comes in­vest­ment in Hun­gary

Ma­jor com­pa­nies asked to lead way in es­tab­lish­ing ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LI XIAOKUN and ZHOU WA

Hun­gar­ian Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­ban de­liv­ered a pas­sion­ate speech on Thurs­day invit­ing Chi­nese in­vest­ment in his coun­try and ask­ing larger Chi­nese com­pa­nies to lead the way.

Or­ban, who is on a three­day visit to China, made the re­marks at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences.

“Hun­gary has the most ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy in the world in many ar­eas ... but we are lack­ing eco­nomic re­sources,” Or­ban said, cit­ing sec­tors in­clud­ing waste­water treat­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and medicine.

“We will reach our ob­jec­tives if we can co­op­er­ate with China in these ar­eas,” he said.

“Hun­gary’s co­op­er­a­tion with ma­jor Chi­nese com­pa­nies, such as ZTE and Bank of China, can serve as light­houses,” light­ing the way for more small and medium-sized Chi­nese com­pa­nies.

Dur­ing his trip to the head of­fice of Bank of China on Wed­nes­day, Or­ban said his ad­min­is­tra­tion has ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion by the bank to es­tab­lish a branch of­fice in Hun­gary, mak­ing BOC the first Chi­nese bank to build a branch net­work in Hun­gary.

Tian Guoli, chair­man of BOC, said his bank hopes to es­tab­lish a Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean fi­nan­cial cen­ter in Hun­gary. As the ren­minbi goes global, BOC is seek­ing to be­come the clear­ing bank for RMB busi­ness in Hun­gary.

ZTE, China’s sec­ond-largest tele­com equip­ment ven­dor, an­nounced in 2012 that it would set up its Euro­pean re­gional net­work oper­a­tion cen­ter in Hun­gary, thus im­prov­ing its over­all de­liv­ery ca­pac­ity in Europe and pro­vid­ing man­age­ment ser­vices for Euro­pean tele­com oper­a­tors.

Or­ban also ex­pected China to play a big role in in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion in Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries, where for­eign in­vest­ment is in great de­mand.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said later on Thurs­day, when meet­ing Or­ban at the Great Hall of the People, that the two coun­tries should fo­cus on the fi­nance, tele­com, in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and high-tech in­dus­tries.

Or­ban said Bu­dapest ex­pects to boost high-level ex­changes with Bei­jing and con­tinue the re­la­tion­ship of mu­tual sup­port.

Cui Hongjian, a Euro­pean stud­ies re­searcher at the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said the de­vel­op­ment of Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries, in­clud­ing Hun­gary, used to de­pend more on Western Europe.

“But now, the debt cri­sis has im­pacted Hun­gary’s econ­omy. Bu­dapest is con­cerned about be­com­ing fur­ther bur­dened if the eu­ro­zone’s eco­nomic re­forms fail to achieve their tar­gets. So it needs part­ners out­side the re­gion, such as China,” Cui said.

“Hun­gary wants to strike a bal­ance be­tween Western Europe and China and ben­e­fit from both sides. Of course, the best sit­u­a­tion will ben­e­fit all three par­ties.”

When asked


the CASS speech if Hun­gary has a timetable for join­ing the eu­ro­zone, Or­ban said “No”.

He said his coun­try would not con­sider the idea be­fore its real econ­omy is run­ning al­most par­al­lel with the most de­vel­oped Euro­pean na­tions. Also, the Hun­gar­ian con­sti­tu­tion would re­quire the sup­port of two-thirds of par­lia­ment in a vote be­fore join­ing the zone.

He added that if the euro be­comes desta­bi­lized, Europe would lose its com­pet­i­tive­ness. Con­tact the writer at lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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