'Largest Bank in World' the Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China Aims to Open Branch in Hungary

  • 19 Oct 2023 4:17 PM
  • Hungary Matters
'Largest Bank in World' the Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China Aims to Open Branch in Hungary
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Chen Siqing, head of the board of directors of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world, for talks in Beijing.

According to a press release from the prime minister’s press office, Orbán visited ICBC’s headquarters and discussed high-level cooperation within the Belt and Road initiative.

At the talks, Orbán highlighted ICBC’s role in the development of Hungary’s economy and trade, as well as in Hungary-China trade.

The prime minister informed his partner about Hungary’s economic development and his government’s plans to support competitive industries and Chinese companies investing in Hungary.

He encouraged additional Chinese investments in Hungary and said he counted on ICBC’s cooperation.

“China and Hungary are faithful partners in the Belt and Road initiative,” Chen said, adding that he saw great opportunities for further cooperation in all areas.

He said his bank would promote a close tie between the Chinese initiative and Hungary’s national strategy, better financial services in Hungary and in central Europe, as well as contribute to economic, trade and a pragmatic financial cooperation between China and Hungary.

ICBC has 415 branches in 49 countries worldwide, including 20 countries in Africa.

Hungary Signs Cooperation Agreement with Industrial and Commercial Bank Of China

Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy signed a cooperation agreement with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) CEO Liao Lin on Wednesday, his ministry said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is heading a delegation to China. He held talks with ICBC Presidet Chen Siqing ahead of Nagy and Liao signing the agreement, the statement said.

The goal of the memorandum of understanding is to further develop Hungarian-Chinese financial ties, strengthen trade ties between the two countries and promote business cooperation in the areas of investment, financing and payments, including in the field of FinTech innovations and the application of artificial intelligence, the ministry said.

The agreement highlights opportunities to finance infrastructure and green projects, as well as issues related to the establishment of Chinese companies’ complete supply chains in Hungary.

Hungary wants to become not only an “economic meeting point” between East and West for capital and cutting edge technology, but a regional financial hub too, Nagy said. The MoU affirms that the sides will work to open an ICBC branch in Hungary.

Orbán Advocates Connectivity, Mutual Respect at Beijing Summit

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has talked about a decline in the Western world and Europe’s competitiveness, the importance of connectivity, and Hungary as a meeting point of eastern and western economies in his address at the Belt and Road Initiative summit in Beijing, his press chief said.

Orbán said that the era of the Western world holding an advantage was over, with the East having gained in strength. He said the European dilemma was whether to create blocs in the global economy and compete, while acting as protectionists, or to seek the opportunities for cooperation and connectivity.

He also said that Europe had cut cooperation with Russia and this was a big step towards the development of blocs. Currently, there are efforts to go even further with discussions of decoupling and de-risking, which would result in the isolation of European and Chinese economies, he added.

Supporters of connectivity including Hungary reject the policy of creating blocs, he said. Central Europe suffered for decades from the existence of blocs which was “not good, illogical and inhuman”, he said.

Hungary’s goal is to become the meeting point for eastern and western economies and technologies, he said. The most important eastern and western investors for the new era of technology meet in Hungary today, he added.

Szijjártó: Attempts to Sever Eastern, Western Economy Risky

Attempts to sever ties between the interdependent eastern and western economies are putting the jobs of millions at risk, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Beijing.

Speaking at an international forum of the Belt and Road initiative, Szijjártó said one of the most important morals of the crises of past years had been that cooperation was a more successful way to handle challenges than an approach based on animosity.

He called for reviving “mutual respect” and against creating blocks in world politics and economy, saying Hungary and central Europe “have always lost out” on the latter. The joint interest would be in connectivity, he said.

Eastern and western economies are interdependent, and those who deny this probably based their stance on ideology rather than facts, he said.

Attempts to sever eastern and western economies are “extremely dangerous” and putting millions of jobs at risk, he said, citing Hungary’s efforts to become a meeting point of the two economies.

The country is set to house manufacturing plants of all three German carmaking giants, and five of the ten largest battery manufacturers. That makes Hungary essential to Europe’s changing car market and guarantees economic growth, he said.

If the world was divided into blocks again, “that would lead to global disaster”. At the same time, if connectivity and mutual respect is fostered, “then I am sure that a more peaceful, prosperous era is coming, and I think China’s role is of critical importance,” he said.

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