Connections and mutual respect can bring about hope of peace and economic growth 

At the summit of the Belt and Road Initiative held in Beijing, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke about the fall in Europe’s and the western world’s competitiveness, the importance of connections, and Hungary as a meeting point of eastern and western economies and technologies, Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief informed the Hungarian news agency MTI from the Chinese capital. 

The Prime Minister said the era of western competitive advantage has come to an end, the eastern world has gained in strength, and now the European dilemma is whether we should create blocs in the world economy or compete, whether we should become protectionists or seek the opportunities of cooperation and connection offered by the new era. 

He also said due to the war in Ukraine, Europe has severed its links of cooperation with Russia, and by doing so, it has taken an enormous step towards a return to bloc politics. Now, he added, they want to go even further, they are talking about decoupling and derisking, which would mean the isolation of the European and Chinese economies from each other. 

He highlighted that the advocates of connectivity, including Hungary, reject bloc politics. Central Europe suffered from bloc politics for decades, “it was not good, it was unreasonable, it was inhumane.” Our competitiveness fell to an all-time low, we fell way behind in technological competition, and found ourselves impoverished. 

Photo: Fischer Zoltán

Mr Orbán also said the Hungarian people would like an era of connections or connectivity – rather than an era of bloc politics – to come because connectivity would give Europe a chance to regain its competitiveness. Our history shows that only international politics returning to the foundations of connections and mutual respect can bring about a hope of peace and economic growth. 

He highlighted that Hungary’s goal was to become a meeting point of eastern and western economies and technologies. Today in Europe, the most significant eastern and western investors transitioning to a new technological era meet in Hungary. We are proud that Hungary has become the number one Central European target of the investments of Chinese companies. 

Hungary is ready for further cooperation with China and all countries supporting connectivity, Mr Orbán said in conclusion. 


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