Hungary hails 'reliable' Chinese investors - 'this is now a new age'

Hungary's business relationship with China has been saluted by the country's Foreign Minister following the recent announcement of the construction of an electric battery factory.

Chinese battery giant CATL will build a second plant in Hungary and is the latest deal highlighting the blossoming bond between the two countries.

"Even during times of huge pressure on us to forbid or limit the presence of Chinese investors and companies in Hungary, we have always rejected that pressure because we have had so far a very respectful cooperation with Chinese investors," Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an exclusive interview with CGTN.


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"They have always brought state of the art technology to Hungary. They have created jobs. They turned out to be reliable partners.


"Why should we reject Chinese investors just because they are from China? In Hungary, we have only one expectation towards the companies, regardless of what kind of nationality they are. And this expectation is that they have to respect our laws and regulations spirit."

Hungary have come under pressure in the last few days with the European Union (EU) declaring the country was 'no longer a full democracy', freezing 65 percent of EU funds over corruption and concerns over the rule of law.

Hungary's government announced over the weekend it would pass a string of new laws to try to comply with EU requirements.

The Foreign Minister, though, insisted Hungary was the perfect location to attract overseas investment.

"First, we have the most stable political system of Europe. The Green Party has won the four continuous elections, all of them with a two-thirds majority," added Szijjarto, whose government secured a land-slide victory in April.

"Our Prime Minister (Viktor Orban) has been the longest-serving in Europe. So this stable system allows us to deliver on what we promise. So whatever we agree upon with the investors, it's easy to fulfil.

"The second fact is we have never discriminated among investors based on the nationality. The third aspect is we have the lowest tax rates. And the fourth is human resources. No question our educational system has been reformed during the last 12 years in the way that the vocational training has strengthened the universities.

"So these four factors, in one basket, creates the most attractive investment environment in Europe for Hungary."

Concerning the new agreement with China's battery maker CATL, the Foreign Minister described it as the biggest investment of its kind in European history.


"It is among the five biggest investments in the last 10 years in Europe," he said. "So we have opened a new chapter of the book, which is written about the success story, about the cooperation between the People's Republic of China and Hungary.

"We are grateful for this decision since it will create jobs for multiple tens of thousands of people putting into consideration all the supplier and service industry. This puts Hungary in an even more important position when it comes to this new age of automotive industry.

"This puts China, Germany and Hungary in a unique position that these are the only three countries where these free premium carmaking companies have separate factories and they all put a significant part of their electromobility strategies into Hungary thanks to this investment.

"So this is now a new age and is even more successful. It proves that that our cooperation so far has been successful and it's made sense to put so much effort into a relationship to be built based on mutual respect."

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