“China is Hungary’s most important trade partner outside Europe; according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s calculations, in 2018 trade flow between the two countries approached 9 billion dollars”, the Ministry’s State Secretary for Communication and the International Representation of Hungary Tamás Menczer said on Thursday in Budapest.

At the China (Henan Province) – Hungary Economic and Trade Conference, Mr. Menczer drew attention to the fact that there is currently 4.5 billion dollars in Chinese investment present in Hungary, and the Chinese enterprises operating in the country provide work for 15,000 Hungarians.

The State Secretary told the press that prior to the Conference he had held talks with Yu Hung-Chiu, Deputy Secretary General of Henan Province, which is found in Central China, and they both agreed that Hungarian-Chinese relations have never been as good as they are now.

As an example of the excellent relations between the two countries, Mr. Menczer cited tourism in view of the fact that the number of tourists visiting Hungary from the Asian country quadrupled between 2011 and 2018. 256 thousand Chinese tourists visited Hungary last year alone, 13 percent more than in 2017.

The State Secretary highlighted the fact that in view of the significant difference between the size and population of the two countries, Hungary has based its foreign trade strategy on finding regions in China with which it can forge good economic relations. It is in this spirit that Thursday’s event is providing Henan province with an opportunity to showcase itself. “This April, Hungary was guest of honour at the International Investment and Trade Fair, which was held in the province”, he added.

According to the State Secretary, the figures indicate that economic growth is stable in both the Chinese province and Hungary, and accordingly there is a good foundation for economic cooperation between the two regions.

“Last year, Henan province realised 7.6 percent economic growth, gaining further strength during the first three months of this year. The Hungarian economy achieved 4.9 percent economic growth last year, and 5.3 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2019” he pointed out.

Yu Hung-Chiu told reporters that Henan’s population exceeds 100 million, and with relation to economic performance Henan is ranked 5th among China’s provinces. He added that Henan Province is regarded as the cradle of Chinese culture.

Both the State Secretary and Yu Hung-Chiu also pointed out that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Hungary and China.