Your Excellency Premier Li, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Distinguished Guests, good morning and good afternoon!
I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts with you via this video message at the Opening Ceremony of the China Import and Export Fair this year. It has already been almost two years for the world as COVID-19 seriously affected the possibility of interactions between all countries. This crisis has shown how interdependent we are, and how interested we are in the successful measures of each other to fight the healthcare aspects or to recover our economies. Last years’ events also made clear for everyone that extraordinary changes are happening in the world economy. Asian countries and companies are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the global economy, and capital-intensive Asian companies are acquiring more and more shares in the global market. The distribution of economic power is transforming in front of our eyes. Here in the European Union, Ladies and Gentlemen, there are serious debates on how we should shape the new world economic order following the COVID pandemic. Here in the West there is a huge temptation to reintroduce a world economic order based on the rivalry of great world powers. I’ve seen this happen before; in fact I’ve lived half my life in such a world. Back then, it was the West standing against the Soviet Union. There are many of us in the European Union who do not want to live in a world that is defined by the tension between great world powers, characterized by instability, and criticism towards each other’s political and economic systems. Instead we want to live in a world based on trade, security, mutual respect and the unconditional recognition of each other’s sovereignty. The place where we Hungarians live, Central Europe, has always lost when world politics and the world economy was characterized by confrontation. Therefore we prefer a world of peace, harmony, cooperation, trade and mutual investments. It is important for us to be involved in China’s economic development, and it is important for us to ensure that China is present in Hungary and Central Europe as a trading partner, and as an investor.
China is considered as a crucial strategic partner of Hungary and we are committed to expand the relationship between our countries in all possible ways. We are thankful to China and personally to President Xi for involving Hungary into China’s vaccination cooperation program at a very early stage. Without the vaccines bought from China we would not have been able to carry out the quickest vaccination campaign of the European Union. Our cooperation, Ladies and Gentlemen, has become more and more important, seeing that China is set to be one of the earliest recovering economies. Even during the last year, the Hungarian-Chinese trade and economic relations developed rapidly. In 2020, China was the most important trading partner of ours outside Europe. I am also happy to highlight the fact that with regards to the volume of foreign investments coming to Hungary in 2020, China ranked first. As more and more internationally recognized Chinese companies, like Huawei, Bank of China, Lenovo, Semcorp, Wanhua, BYD, are choosing Hungary as their European basis we can conclude – without exaggeration – that the favourable Hungarian investment environment and circumstances are very well appreciated by Chinese partners. ungary looks forward to further developments and milestones in our relations with China. I do believe that forums like the Canton Fair will fulfil their role in being “A bond of Friendship” and “A Bridge of Trade” between us and we can welcome new partners who discover the new perspectives of our cooperation and contribute to the development of our economies.
Finally, let me once again express our appreciation and respect to President Xi and allow me to wish you all good health, and for the exhibitors and the organizers a successful event.
Thank you very much for your kind attention!