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Hungary goes to China to boost economic ties

Chinese imports to Hungary amounted to some €3.75 billion, 21.6% up on 2006. But Hungary has an ambitious plan to expand its role, positioning itself as a gateway for Chinese products to the European markets, and last year signed a contract on a major center in Budapest aimed at facilitating this.

The China Brand Trade Center based in and around the existing Asia Center and China Mart in northeast Budapest, aims to provide office space for up to 2,000 Chinese firms looking to gain a foothold in Europe. Around 200 companies have set up shop there, and the center is expected to be expanded to 200,000 square meters by around 2010. The second section of a tour of China designed to persuade investors from the economic superpower to put their money into Hungary got underway on April 6, the Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency said.

The “Hungarian Season” tour, which has already visited Beijing, will stop in the provincial cities of Lanzhou, Chengdu and Qingdao over the next five days, the agency said. Until recently, the Asia-Center trade center was the primary organization offering a concentration of Asian goods was the first in Central Europe to recognize the economic opportunities in the co-operations between Asia and Europe. It had also organized numerous events to build bridge between the cultures and businessmen of the two continents. The Asia-Center was established in 2003 and was first start to work up business units and Trade Promotion Organizations (TPO’s).

The first five years of activities of the Asia-Center proved to be successful. Some 500 easter European companies, usually registered from Transylvania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and South-Poland, have been working in the centre, with the demand constantly flaring. Top officials from various Asian states have repeatedly attended the centre since 2003. Hosting the China Brand Trade Center will give further boost to the development of the region trade hub. (New Europe)