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Orbán: outside technologies are needed

The Central European region holds enormous potential, but it needs outside technologies and financial resources for development as European ones are no longer sufficient, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a press conference following a summit with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and heads of government of 16 countries in the region.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the China-CEEC summit on Monday (photo: Károly Árvai/kormany.hu).

The strengthening of the Chinese economy holds serious opportunities for countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Orbán said, welcoming the fact that China wants to take part in the regionʼs development.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China wishes to see a prosperous Europe, and supports the European integration process and the development of countries that aspire to join the EU, national news agency MTI reported.

China aims to import even more products and services from countries in Central and Eastern Europe while helping them develop their infrastructure. China would especially like to raise its agricultural imports from the region, Li added.

The Chinese premier also indicated that China would offer 5,000 state scholarships in the next five years to countries in the region and look for ways to cooperate on raising industrial capacity, including by creating industrial parks.

Quoted on official government website kormany.hu, Orbán described the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe as "an economic and trade success story." He pointed out that eleven EU Member States and five non-EU countries are taking part in the current cooperation scheme, and that "the key question is whether they can be involved in overarching long-term economic projects, investments and developments which will lead to the rise of the entire region."

Among these projects, Orbán highlighted the modernization and development of the Belgrade-Budapest railway line, which he said will have strategic significance in terms of freight traffic along the modern-day Silk Road within the One Belt One Road Initiative.

Summit causes traffic chaos

Meanwhile, road closures in Budapest for the summit resulted in traffic chaos, which is not likely to ease for two more days. Today, between noon and 9 p.m., Kossuth Lajos tér and the surrounding areas will be closed off, as will be Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út and Alkotmány utca between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Chain Bridge, Széchenyi István tér, Apáczai Csere János utca and neighboring streets will be closed until Wednesday at noon.

Also on Wednesday, the following closures will be effective:
- Attila út and Palota út, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.; Krisztina körút between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
- Andrássy út and Hősök tere, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- between 11 a.m. and 12 noon (estimated) on Wednesday, roads to Liszt Ferenc International Airport will be closed for around 30 minutes. The authorities recommend using public transport until the delegations leave.

A detailed list of altered routes of public transport during this period is available in Hungarian here and in English here.