“The Chinese Government has raised Hungarian-Chinese bilateral cooperation to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, which is the highest category possible in the Asian country”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told public media in Beijing on Friday following official talks headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Viktor Orbán, who was received with full military honours, held negotiations with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday morning local time, following which several agreements were concluded between the two countries in the presence of the two heads of government in the National People’s Congress building.

Following the negotiations and the conclusion of the agreements, Mr. Szijjártó told the press: In China, countries with whom bilateral cooperation is regarded as being most important to the Chinese Government are considered as comprehensive strategic partners, adding that in his opinion new opportunities would be opening up in Hungarian-Chinese economic relations as a result.

With relation to this, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the fact that the Hungarian delegation had received China Exim Bank’s financing proposal for the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, which is a dollar-based loan offer with a 20-year term and a planned interest rate of 2.5 percent. “This may be regarded as a good starting-point for further negotiations, which if concluded relatively quickly prior to the China-Central Europe prime ministerial summit in the autumn, which will be held in Budapest, will mean that preparations for the publication of the tender can also begin”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister added.

In reply to a question, Mr. Szijjártó said that the total cost of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line project was estimated at some 550 billion forints, and that the loan offer covers 85 percent of the full cost of the project.

The Minister also informed the press that in the interests of increasing Hungarian agriculture and food industry an agreement had also been reached on the commencement of negotiations on opportunities for exporting Hungarian fruit to China, which would have a huge economic significance for Hungarian agriculture.

An agreement was also reached on the fact that China Development Bank will be financing another project in Hungary, Wanhua-BorsodChem’s productivity-expanding, environmentally friendly development project, within the framework of a 79 million dollar credit line, he continued.

The Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) and the Shanghai Gold Exchange also concluded an agreement according to which a department specifically for Chinese and eastern trading will be established at the BSE, in addition to which the BSE will act as the regional platform for the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

In closing, the Minister also announced that the State of Hungary had been given an opportunity to purchase the Hungarian Embassy building in Beijing within the framework of a procedure that was extremely favourable considering the Chinese legal system.

As part of the program of the Hungarian delegation currently visiting China, on Saturday morning Mr. Szijjártó held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while following his official negotiations Prime Minister Orbán laid a wreath at the Monument to the People’s Heroes on Tiananmen Square.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)