Mr. Orbán noted that the Government had recognised the new situation and drawn the necessary conclusions, and in 2010 announced its “Eastward Opening” policy.
Since that time, he said, Hungary has been “the first to make a move on every issue”: Hungary was the first to welcome the Chinese president’s One Belt One Road Initiative, and Hungary was also the first to attend the conference on this initiative and sign the agreement on it, he said.
At the first global conference of the AFCA the Prime Minister also stated that European leaders still take two different views on the origin of the 2008 crisis. Some believe that it was a cyclical event, and that “things will fall back into place, and there is nothing to do”, Mr. Orbán pointed out. He, on the other hand, belongs to what he identified as the other group: those who believe that the crisis was structural in nature, and that reforms will be required if the continent is to remain competitive.
China’s economy is growing dramatically and will require imports in enormous quantities, Mr. Orbán observed, and in the future there will also be the need for relocation of Chinese production capacity. Hungary is in a good starting position in the race between countries for these opportunities, the Prime Minister remarked.
In the competition for cooperation with China, Hungary is the Central European country in the best situation, the Prime Minister said, as its exports to China are the highest from the region; the highest volume of Chinese investment in Central Europe is likewise directed to Hungary, he observed.
He added that taxes in Hungary are low, the country’s economic policy is based on common sense rather than on ideology, its geographical location is favourable, and China and Hungary have great mutual respect for each other.
Last March Li Keqiang, the Prime Minister of China, proposed the establishment of the AFCA in order to accelerate dialogue on economic and financial cooperation. The Hungarian Banking Association was also involved in preparation and establishment of the Association.