“Hungarian-Chinese relations have gained momentum recently thanks to the Government’s Eastern Opening policy”, Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas told Hungarian news agency MTI on Monday in Gornja Radgona, Slovenia.

The Minister, who is in Slovenia attending the AGRA international agriculture expo and held bilateral talks with Chinese Minister for Agriculture Han Changfu, explained: “Hungary’s intention is to use its central geographical location to become a kind of logistics centre for trade flow between China and the region, which is being reinforced by recent decisions on infrastructure development projects such as the Budapest-Belgrade railway line”. “The Government’s Eastern Opening policy and China’s One Belt, On Road programme are in harmony with each other, which the Budapest-Belgrade railway line and logistics centre are also part of”, he stressed. “China regards Hungary as a friendly country and an important strategic partner in Central and Eastern Europe”, the Minister stated.

“Exports to China have increased by 700% over the past six years with 67 million euros in exports, including agriculture industry products such as some 11 thousand hectolitres of wine, for instance. China is now our fourth largest wine export market”, Mr. Fazekas explained, adding that “Hungary is also the Central European country with Chinese import licences for the largest number of product groups”.

“China has grown to become Hungary’s tenth most important trade partner overall. Total exports have exceeded 500 billion forints (EUR 1.6bn), within which agriculture and the food industry have also played an important role”, the Minister said. “One opportunity for development is e-commerce, which is also becoming increasingly popular in China, and which enables the direct marketing of goods at competitive prices, meaning both countries have an interest in its development”, he added.

Mr. Fazekas will be visiting China in September at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart to attend an expo and conference that will also enable Hungarian exhibitors to showcase their goods.

With relation to the AGRA international agriculture expo, Mr. Fazekas said: “Hungary is one of the largest exhibitors at the expo in view of the fact that Slovenia is one of our important trade partners, as well as being a friendly, neighbouring country”. “Some 20 companies and entrepreneurs are presenting their goods at the expo, including seed cleaning equipment, agricultural machinery, distilling equipment and mini mills. Farm management method development companies are also taking part in the expo”, the Minister said. China is the guest of honour of this year’s 55th AGRA international expo.

(MTI / Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)