China, Hungary embrace new economic cooperation opportunities under all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for the new era
Published: May 10, 2024 03:13 PM
Chinese and Hungarian national flags decorate the Erzsebet Bridge in Budapest, Hungary on May 8, 2024. Photo: VCG

Chinese and Hungarian national flags decorate the Erzsebet Bridge in Budapest, Hungary on May 8, 2024. Photo: VCG

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Hungary, the two sides decided to elevate the current comprehensive strategic partnership to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for the new era, which experts said on Friday will provide new economic and trade cooperation opportunities for the two countries. 

Embracing the elevated partnership, China and Hungary will eye strengthened cooperation in infrastructure construction, agriculture, digital economy, green development as well as other emerging industries. Moreover, the two countries' pragmatic and fruitful achievements have set a good example for China's collaboration with other European countries, analysts noted.

"Deeper and precise cooperation will become the key word between the two countries under the all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for the new era, which means both sides will formulate cooperation policies that are more closely aligned with each other's development strategies," Song Wei, a professor from the School of International Relations at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times on Friday.

According to the joint statement released by the two countries, emphasis is placed on enhanced cooperation in infrastructure construction under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

The two countries are willing to actively promote the construction of the Hungarian section of the Hungary-Serbia Railway, and jointly promote high-level connectivity in Central and Eastern Europe.

In addition, the two sides will support the sound and steady development of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line, and promote connectivity and trade between China and Hungary.

The two sides spoke highly of the development of the China-Europe Railway Express between China and Hungary, and agreed to establish an inter-governmental cooperation mechanism on the China-Europe Railway Express, promote infrastructure connectivity, and jointly take practical measures to ensure the security of the transport routes and improve the quality and efficiency of the China-Europe Railway Express, so as to provide important support for deepening economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

"From the Hungary-Serbia Railway to China-Europe Railway Express, infrastructure cooperation has promoted cross-border connectivity which then helps related countries become embedded in the European and global value chain, reducing the cost of logistics and personnel," Song noted.

Moreover, the two sides recognized the huge potential in agricultural cooperation between them and will strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation between agricultural enterprises of both sides, widen market access, promote the cooperation of "small and beautiful" projects, and strengthen cooperation in areas such as animal health and joint research and development of deep processing technologies for agricultural products.

In the latest achievement in bilateral agricultural cooperation, China's General Administration of Customs announced on Friday that it has allowed, effective immediately, the import of Hungarian fresh cherries that meet the relevant requirements. 

According to the statement, the two sides will promote orderly cooperation in emerging fields including clean energy, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile communication technology and nuclear energy and technology. They will deepen cooperation in digital economy and green development, foster new drivers of trade and economic growth, expand the scope and depth of economic and trade cooperation, and jointly safeguard the stability and security of industrial and supply chains.

The two sides will also further deepen cooperation in finance, encourage financial institutions of both sides to provide financing support and financial services for trade and investment cooperation, further tap the cooperation potential in green finance and other fields, and continue to jointly issue green Panda bonds. 

"The joint statement covers a wide range of cooperation fields, including economy, science and technology, and culture, showing the comprehensive and multi-dimensional character of China-Hungary cooperation," Wang Peng, an associate research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday.

Looking ahead, Wang noted that with the transformation of the global energy structure, cooperation in the field of clean energy is particularly important. China and Hungary can develop in-depth cooperation in the fields of solar energy and wind energy. Moreover, there are also high expectations that collaboration in AI and mobile communication technology will be enhanced.

Wang said the pragmatic cooperation between China and Hungary provides a successful example of cooperation between China and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This model of cooperation can serve as a reference and a model for other countries and promote cooperation and development in the region as a whole.

"In the context of geopolitical tensions, especially the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Central and Eastern Europe itself is facing a series of challenges, and strengthening cooperation with China is conducive to its independent development and regional stability," Song noted.