The Hungary pavilion is seen at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 5, 2018. A total of 82 countries and three international organizations showcased their achievements in economic and trade development as well as competitive products at 71 booths in the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment at the CIIE. (Xinhua/Sadat)
SHANGHAI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- With mouth-watering smells of barbecue and a sip of semi-sweet wine from the Eger region together with many business promotions, the 256-square-meter Hungarian country pavilion at China International Import Expo (CIIE) showcases Hungary's appetite for more cooperation with China.
"Hungary, as well as other countries, has huge potential in Chinese market because China has huge buying power, and Chinese people are also looking for special items," said Balazs Gellert, managing director of international business in a Hungarian bedding product company.
After working with Chinese customers for nine years, Gellert's company is seeing more opportunities for expansion in the Chinese market. In his view, CIIE offers a platform for Hungarians to advertise for themselves. "It is really good for Hungary to have this huge advertisement here in the CIIE," he said.
Attending the CIIE will bring a win-win situation for Hungary as well as all participants, according to Szilard Bolla, consul general of Hungary in Shanghai.
Roughly 20 Hungarian companies are participating in this year's CIIE, with many more Hungarian enterprises to come to meet their Chinese counterparts as delegations, said Bolla.
As one of the guest countries of honor and a Belt and Road partner country, Hungary has been active as an important trade partner of China in the central and eastern Europe. In 2017, Hungarian goods exported to China saw an increase of 18 percent from 2016, according to Chinese official data.
"In Hungary, we have not thought about China as only an export power in the past decade, it has already been an investment location for Hungarian companies," said Bolla. "It is a great opportunity for Hungarian companies to use this opening-up and to be here early."
Premium mineral water, cheese products and wines together with high-tech items like solar panel paving and self-driving cars are presented by multiple Hungarian enterprises in different pavilions.
"By using the CIIE as a platform to connect to the Chinese market, these Hungarian enterprises are able to find their Chinese business partners," said Xu Haifeng, general manager of the Bank of China Limited Hungarian Branch, which helped to introduce leading companies from various industries of Hungary to participate the CIIE.
With the slogan "New era, shared future," CIIE is not only aimed at giving firm support to trade liberalization and economic globalization but also actively opening the Chinese market.
Industries such as automobiles, telecommunication, intellectual and food are very promising for cooperation between China and Hungary as the CIIE showcases China's attitude of opening wider to the global market, according to Laszlo Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology of Hungary.
Currently, Chinese investors who choose Hungary as a production location are turning more to the high added-value activities, related businesses will further develop with more Chinese investment flocking to Hungary, according to Palkovics.
The CIIE is going to set a good reference for more Hungarian companies that did not have chance to participate this year, said Bolla, adding that the preparation for next year's CIIE has turned into a centerpiece of a working plan for him as well as many other Hungarian government departments.
"This is a clear message to the world that China changes the attitude, and China wants to be the significant player in world trade; I think it is absolutely a good message," said Palkovics.