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Hungary could seek development financing in China

A Hungarian delegation led by National Development Minister Tamás Fellegi held talks on getting project financing through public issues of debt in China during a week-long visit to the Asian country, Fellegi, who is also government commissioner for Hungarian-Chinese economic relations, said on Thursday.

"We did not come to persuade the Chinese to finance Hungarian debt, because we have no need for that. But we could use [financing from China] to make up for shortfalls in the development budget resulting from financing state debt and reducing debt," Fellegi said on the last day of the visit. "We do not want a private placement, because that is not the right message for the market," he added.

The Hungarian delegation me with the governor of China's central bank, its development bank and its export-import bank during the visit to talk about financing for specific projects.

"The talks were not theoretical and not political, but very real and concrete," Fellegi said.

Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) deputy-CEO Zoltán Urbán and Government Debt Management Agency (AKK) chief Gyula Pleschinger were members of the delegation, as was CEO of state-owned railway company MÁV Ferenc Szarvas.

Representatives of MFB and China's Eximbank held talks on how project financing is to take place within a framework cooperation agreement established between MÁV and the China Railway Construction Corporation, Fellegi said. The value of financing under the agreement could reach several hundred billion forints, he added.

The delegation also met with the heads of companies already present in Hungary to discuss further investment opportunities. Among them were the managers of Wanhua Industrial Group, which owns Hungarian chemicals company BorsodChem, and telecommunications company Huawei, which is turning its base in Hungary into a supply centre for the region.

The expansion of Huawei's base in Hungary could create "several thousand jobs", Fellegi said.

Talks in Chongqing (SW China), a hub of the country's automotive industry, focused on bringing Chinese car making to Hungary.

One of the most important topic of the talks there was establishing a direct air link between Chongqing and Hungary, and the rest of Europe, Fellegi said. The sides agreed to review the conditions for launching such flights, he added.