“It is in Hungary’s interests and Hungary is calling for the establishment of a European-American-Chinese agreement on how world trade may be kept free and equitable, and particularly on how to avoid a global trade war”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, who is on a three-day official visit to China, said in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Thursday.

The Minister attended a meeting of trade ministers from China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (China-CEEC) in Ningbo, prior to which he held talks with China’s Minister of Commerce, the Vice Minister of China’s customs administration, and the Governor of Zhejiang Province.

“In view of the fact that Hungary is a small country with an open and export-orientated economy, we are viewing the development of increasingly acute fronts within the global economy with grave concern. A global trade war between the United States, China and Europe is beginning to develop as a result of the planned and already introduced customs duties and trade restrictions with respect to each other”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “A trade war of this kind could have an extremely negative effect on export-orientated countries like those of Central Europe, including Hungary”, he added.

80 percent of Hungary’s exports are destined for the European Union, but the United States is its second largest export market after the EU, followed closely by China. Accordingly, the development of a trade war between its three largest export markets would be totally at odds with the interests of the Hungarian economy. This is why Budapest is calling for a European-American-Chinese agreement on the fact that the world economy must be kept free and equitable, and on how to avoid a global trade war.

China’s largest international economic event, the China International Import Expo, will be held in November, to which three European countries have been invited as guests of honour: Germany, Great Britain and Hungary. Accordingly, Hungary has been given an opportunity to present its automotive industry, pharmaceutical industry, agricultural and touristic products and services. This in turn could contribute to the realisation of another new foreign trade record with China this year. Foreign trade flow between Hungary and China and Hungarian exports to China broke all previous records last year, exceeding 2.6 billion dollars. The Minister believes this record could be broken again this year.

Mr. Szijjártó also reported on the fact that a delegation from China’s General Administration of Customs will be visiting Hungary in July in the interests of exempting Hungary from China’s ban on poultry imports, which was introduced following an outbreak of bird flu in 2015.