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Szijjártó: Talks on Budapest-Belgrade railway upgrade agreement under way

Int’l Relations

Hungary has received Chinaʼs financing offer for the revamp of the Budapest-Belgrade rail line and talks on the inter-governmental agreement are underway, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said in Beijing today, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Szijjártó spoke following talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and said that both governments intend to sign every agreement relating to the upgrade at the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit in November.

The minister said that Hungary had become the key player in Chinaʼs economic affairs in Central Europe. He noted that Hungaryʼs food exports to China over the first half of the year grew sevenfold compared to the same period last year and that more Hungarian food companies had received export permits from China.

Szijjártó said FDI by Chinese companies would reach USD 1 trillion over the next five to six years, adding that Hungary is likely to become an important destination. The minister said the two countries would soon announce another major Chinese investment.

Szijjártó said the Bank of Chinaʼs opening its third European yuan clearing bank in Budapest, to promote the use of the Chinese currency overseas and facilitate direct transactions between Europe and China, was a "significant step forward".

The minister attended an official dinner given by President Xi Jinping and will be present for Thursdayʼs military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war. He is scheduled to meet Vice President Li Yuanchao later in the day.

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