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Development minister outlines important steps after China visit

Important steps in several areas have been taken to strengthen economic cooperation between Hungary and China, National Development Minister Tamás Fellegi told MTI at the end of an official visit to Beijing.

The Chinese partners understood Hungary wants to place its ties with China on new foundations and welcomed the appointment of a government commissioner - Fellegi - to foster economic ties between Hungary and China, Fellegi said.

In the course of the four-day visit, Fellegi met with government officials, bank heads and the management of ten companies.

Fellegi held talks with Hainan Group chairman Chen Feng, who met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in November to discuss plans to establish an airline company in Hungary as well as on the reorganization of Hungarian airline Malév. “These are difficult negotiations, but we are on the right path,” Fellegi said. An agreement on the matter is expected to be reached in the coming weeks, he added.

There is a good chance that railway and infrastructure development projects in Hungary can be made with the involvement of Chinese companies and Chinese capital, he said. In as much as Hungary becomes a real logistics base for China, it would mean Chinese investments en masse, he added.

Fellegi said an agreement was reached in China's Railway Affairs Ministry to establish a joint Chinese-Hungarian workgroup to start talks on railway projects. The Hungarian Development Bank and China's Eximbank are also setting up a workgroup to support long-term financial cooperation, he said. It will hold its inaugural meeting in January, he added.

Fellegi met with the heads of four big construction companies during the visit and many expressed their intention to establish joint ventures with Hungarian partners to implement development projects in Europe.

Fellegi also met with the official in charge of foreign reserves at the Peoples Bank of China and with the heads of the Chinese Investment Fund. Travelling with Fellegi were Hungarian Development Bank chief László Baranyai, the head of state-owned railway company MÁV Ferenc Szarvas, and the director of Hungary's Government Debt Management Agency (ÁKK) Gyula Pleschinger. The delegation started talks in Beijing on Monday and will leave for Hungary early Friday. (MTI – Econews)