Chinese premier leaves for Hungary

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing on Sunday morning for an official visit to Hungary and the sixth meeting of heads of government of China-Central and Eastern European Countries in Budapest.

Li made the statement in an article published on the newspaper The Hungarian Times before attending the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and the CEEC on Nov. 26-29 in Budapest and paying an official visit to Hungary.

The premier recalled that the first China-CEEC economic and trade forum was held in Budapest in 2011 and, a year later, the 17 countries established a new trans-regional cooperation platform, called the 16+1 cooperation.

Over the five years, the 16+1 cooperation has been growing and the mechanism improving, bringing about remarkable progress to cooperation in all fields, Li said.

A trade hub established by a Chinese enterprise in Hungary has been acting as a “matchmaker” between Chinese and European businesses, and is poised to further facilitate bilateral trade cooperation as the Belt and Road Initiative continues to unfold, the company’s CEO has said.

The hub, formally known as the Central European Trade and Logistics Cooperation Zone, currently comprises an exhibition center in Budapest, and two logistic parks respectively in the Csepel Port in Hungary and the Bremen Port in Germany, Wu Jiang told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The Chinese businessman, with over 20 years of experience in commerce and logistics in Hungary, said his motive to start the trade service company was to help Chinese enterprises find competent local partners in their exploration for new markets in Europe.

“I have noticed that many Chinese enterprises, often unfamiliar with local languages and laws, spent most of their energy dealing with accountants, lawyers and government agencies when they came here, with only limited time spent on expanding actual business. They could stay for only a year or two, without achieving much breakthrough in business and had to call off their endeavor,” said Wu.

He compared his exhibition center in Budapest as a bridge linking Chinese enterprises with local partners.

Activities at the center, such as exhibitions and bushiness presentations, allow the two sides to find suitable partners in a more efficient way, he said.

Meanwhile, the logistics park in the Csepel Port provides services such as cargo distribution, customs clearance and warehousing, among others, according to Wu.

In the past, the goods used to flow southeastward from the base ports of northwestern Europe such as Hamburg, Bremen and Rotterdam, he noted. With the Chinese Railway Express cargo trains and China-Europe land-sea express coming into operation, the trend is that the goods go from the southeast to the northwest, Wu added.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has brought tangible benefits for businesses in Hungary, noted Wu. “The logistics volume in the park and the whole country has grown very rapidly this year. Our truck fleet is running at its maximum capacity and we have to rent trucks to cope with the trade flow,” he said.

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