German Carmakers Part of Chinese Firms' Attraction to Hungary - Szijjártó

Automotive

Péter Szijjártó speaking at Harvard University.

Image by MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Márton Király

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó pointed to the role German car makers have played in making Hungary the "number one" target for investments by Chinese companies in Central Europe speaking at a forum at Harvard University on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Szijjártó noted at the forum addressing "Europe's position in a multipower and polarized world" that Hungary was the only country in the world, besides Germany and China, that was home to manufacturing facilities of all three premium German carmakers and said Chinese battery makers were supplying those companies.

He pointed to the construction of a plant by Chinese battery maker CATL in Debrecen next door to a new BMW factory.

Responding to a question on "de-risking" initiatives in the European Union, Szijjártó said the CEOs of big German companies kept calling to ask him to give incentives to their Chinese suppliers to come to Hungary.

Commenting on a recently announced decision by Chinese EV maker BYD to build its first plant in Europe in Szeged, Szijjártó said Hungary had faced "very tough competition" from other European countries to attract the factory. The plant will bring state-of-the-art technology to Hungary, create a lot of jobs and keep our economy growing, he added.

Szijjártó said he had managed the negotiation of many agreements on Chinese investments in Hungary during his time as foreign minister and stressed that, in his experience, no requests were ever made for "anything political in exchange".

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