Hungarian Season in China milestone in growth of ties

Int’l Relations

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said that The Hungarian Season, slated to be held in nine Chinese cities between September 2007 and April 2008, is an important milestone for the further development of bilateral relations.

In a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua prior to his visit to China starting on Sunday, Gyurcsány said The Hungarian Season in China is one of a series of events organized to showcase the potential economic cooperation opportunities Hungary has and the country's cultural and tourism resources. “Our key objective is to introduce Hungary and bring her closer to the Chinese audience, particularly the business community, and to show that Hungary, with its open economy, extraordinary geographical location, well-developed infrastructure and European Union membership, can be an important partner for China to invest and promote tourism in the long term,” he said, adding that the key element of The Hungarian Season is economic and business events enriched by tourism, gastronomy and cultural programs.

Speaking of the future of the Hungarian-Chinese relations, the prime minister said the ties between both countries are excellent and have reached the highest level in their 50-year history. He said the Hungarian government considers its relations with Asia, particularly China, to be very important. In 2003, the government formulated a comprehensive concept for developing relations with the Asia-Pacific region including the Far East and East Asia, and China is among the countries of prior concern in this concept. The importance of the Hungary-China partnership is also reflected in the Hungarian government’s new foreign policy strategy that is currently in the process of being approval. The two countries’ political ties at different levels are constantly expanding and deepening. “With regard to the future, I genuinely hope that the current dynamism of our relations can be sustained in both political and economic dimensions,” Gyurcsány said.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian-Chinese economic relations are developing vigorously with Hungary’s export growing, Chinese investment in Hungary expanding and Chinese tourists increasing, said the prime minister. China has become Hungary’s number one trading partner in Asia. In the first five months of this year, both exports and imports of Hungary grew by 21%. Hungarian statistical data showed that the bilateral trade reached $4.6 billion last year. “We are happy to see that there has been a dynamic growth in exports to China over the last two years. We are confident that our export volume can reach $1 billion this year,” said the prime minister. “We welcome Chinese investors in Hungary. Hungary can play and has already been playing a very useful role in China’s foreign trade and investment operations with Europe thanks to its excellent geographical and logistical features,” he said.

Gyurcsány hoped the Hungarian-Chinese economic relations would be duely adjusted to meet the requirements of the 21st century, with more emphasis being put on research and development, IT, biotechnology, the introduction of agricultural production systems and modern logistics.

Speaking of Hungary’s role in promoting the development of the EU-Chinese relations, the prime minister said Hungary’s accession to the EU has won China a new friend in the organization. He added that Hungary is fully aware of the strategic importance of the EU-Chinese relations, and the rapid development of the Hungarian-Chinese relations is completely in line with the advancement of the EU-Chinese cooperation. Hungary supports the strengthening of cooperation between the EU and China, he added. (china.org.cn)

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