China, Hungary double Eximbank credit line, start $500 million fund [Updated]


Hungary’s Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) has entered into an agreement with its China-based counterpart which will double the depleted $100 million interbank credit line; also signed was the deed of foundation for a $500 million Chinese Central and Eastern European Investment Fund, the press office of the government commissioner in charge of Hungarian-Chinese relations and Eximbank said in a joint statement.

The respective documents were signed by Hungary Eximbank deputy CEO Tamas Darabos and China Eximbank deputy chairman Yuan Hsing-yoong in Beijing on Monday.

Hungary will contribute $30 million to the Fund and could channel capital investments worth almost $100 million to Hungary as part of the agreement, according to the Hungarian government. The Fund plans substantial investments in sectors such as telecommunication, energy, infrastructure development and manufacturing.

Poland, Romania as well as some international financial institutions could join the Fund in the future, the press statement said adding that talks on the subject are underway.

The two institutions also reached agreement on doubling the interbank credit line of €100 million concluded in February 2013. The expansion of the credit line will allow Hungarian SMEs exporting to China and Chinese-owned companies operating in Hungary to access preferential export financing.

Peter Szijjártó, government commissioner for Hungarian-Chinese relations, noted on the occasion of the signing of the document that Hungarian exports to China grew 16% in the first eight months of this year, primarily in areas such as pharmaceuticals, food, wine and water management.

Update: Orbán says Hungary a CEE hub for China tourism
Budapest has become a regional hub for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe in the field of tourism, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told MTI after a two-day CEE-China summit ending in Bucharest on Tuesday.

 “We set up the hub for China-CEE tourism cooperation in Budapest, consequently, we will organise the cooperation of these 16 countries and China from the aspect of tourism from and in Budapest,” he said.

Romania hosted the second summit of China and Central European prime ministers, including that of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Latvia’s foreign minister also attended the meeting.

Participants agreed to hold similar summits annually in the future, and will also organise business forums parallel with the summits, Orbán said.

They also agreed to foster exports, including food exports to China, Orbán said tha preparations for for further Chinese investments has started in Budapest.

Orbán stressed the importance of an agreement with the Chinese and Serbian prime ministers on Monday on upgrading the Budapest-Belgrade railway line with Chinese investment.

 “We will create a very rapid connection, and will finance this from a financial fund the Chinese had set up yet one year earlier with the aim to support Central European investments,” the Hungarian PM said.

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