The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) was represented by Deputy Governor Mihály Patai at the Belt and Road Initiative and RMB Internationalization Forum in Hong Kong on 6 June, where he was a keynote speaker in the opening session of the event. Darryl Chan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Liu Jin, Vice Chairman of the Bank of China, were also among the keynote speakers – reported MNB in a press release.
Mihály Patai, Deputy Governor, File photo: Facebook/Igazságügyi Minisztérium
In his speech, Mihály Patai underlined the good relations between the two countries, recalling that Hungary was the first European country to join the Belt and Road Initiative, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
He also described the relationship between the Hungarian and Chinese central banks as strong and friendly. The Hungarian central bank was among the first in Europe to sign a swap agreement with the Bank of China in September 2013, which has been renewed several times and is still in force. Speaking about the main theme of the conference, he said that the MNB had recognized the importance of the renminbi and its growing international role early on, which is why it launched its own Renminbi Program in 2015.
According to Mihály Patai, the renminbi has made significant progress in terms of internationalization in recent years, rising from eighth to fifth place in the ranking of OTC foreign exchange markets between 2019 and 2022.
FactThe Belt and Road Initiative or OBOR (short for One Belt One Road as it is known in China, is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted in 2013 by the Chinese Government to invest in more than 150 countries and international organizations. The strategy is considered a centerpiece of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. China wishes to assume a greater leadership role for global affairs in accordance with its increasing power and status. As of January 2023, 151 countries were listed as having signed up to the initiative.
In Hungary’s quest to become a regional financial center, he pointed out, Hungary is building on outstanding examples such as Hong Kong.
We learn from good examples what the most important building blocks of a successful financial center are,”
the Deputy Governor concluded.
Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the two country’s cooperation, as noted previously by Foreign State Secretery Péter Szijjártó in Brussels.
To ears accustomed to a swelling chorus of China-scepticism in the European Union, the language of Hungarian diplomats is striking,”
– The Economist had commented.
Nonetheless, Hungary does not see China as a risk factor or a threat, but as a country with which cooperation is beneficial, and is urging the European Union to seek a relationship based on mutual respect rather than rivalry with China.
Via MNB.hu, Featured photo: Pixabay.com