Hungary in Chongqing

Consul General, Mr Gergely Kádár discusses the key opportunities for Hungary in Chongqing

Based in the heart of the European Union, Budapest is a leading link between Chongqing and the broader European economy. With strengths in automotive sector and one of the world’s leading thermal water treatment centres, the country has a natural synergy with Chongqing.

Chongqing, Hungary, the Belt and Road

In 2015, Hungary was the first EU country to join the Belt and Road Initiative, but even before this Hungary had a good relationship. In 2010 we introduced the Look East Policy, which aimed to strengthen the relationship with Asia and China, then in 2011 Hungary joined the 16+1 Cooperation, a forum of 16 Eastern European countries and China.

Strategically, Hungary and Budapest brings a great logistics centre in the heart of Europe to the BRI and Chongqing. This is used by companies such as Huawei, which has a regional logistics centre there. Of course, for Chongqing as a leading laptop and electronics manufacturing base Budapest offers a significant base.

As regards Hungarian companies operating in Chongqing, these are mainly representative offices that function in addition to their main bases in Shanghai. In fact, we have been putting effort into promoting Chongqing and western China to Hungarian companies. When COVID is stablised, we look forwards to continuing to establish more person to person meetings. In the meantime, we continue to assist remote relationship, establishing contact with relevant partners, such as distributors.

Working with local partners

Usually, Chongqing-based companies are not too familiar with the EU of Hungary, so we try to provide clear information and assistance where appropriate. We can provide them with Hungarian distributors who can help them enter the EU market, and access to the investment support system Of the Hungarian government.

Hungary is especially strong in the production of autoparts and medical scientific products. Regarding automobiles, Hungarian companies are especially involved in the new energy sector, so Chongqing as one of China’s largest automobile production bases is a major market for those companies.

Consumption and the Chinese market

As Chongqing and China moves towards a more consumption-driven growth model, we would be happy to work with any companies that see potential in engaging with this. We work hard to help people understand the diversity of China and the usual development trajectory. This is usually led by coastal regions with inland areas following the same trajectory a few years later.

The Chengdu Chongqing economic circle

As the most recent “economic circle”, this is set to enjoy a great degree of support from central government. Really, this seems to be an extension of the now well-established Go West Policy, with Chongqing and Chengdu effectively unifying to become an engine of growth for western China. If other previous economic-hub projects are anything to go by, I think we can expect to see a lot of economic spillovers. I think we can also expect to see a focus on “high-quality” sustainable economic growth.

We can also expect to see greater connectivity especially rail, enabling more streamlined integration of the two hubs, as well as the development of regions in between. Places such as Dazu and Bishan, lying on the new high speed rail routes, can expect to see rapid development.


Before 2020, there were direct flights from Chongqing to Hungary, and had run projects such as influencer visits to build awareness. After COVID, we can hopefully re-establish this base and continue building. We had already established a range of Chinese language services to facilitate tourism in Budapest.

A key tourism sector where there is obvious synergy is hot springs. Hungary has a centuries old tradition of thermal water spas, and associated medical treatments. In fact, in Hungary, spas are often prescribed to people suffering from relevant maladies and can be accessed at a reduced cost with a medical prescription.

Before COVID, we had actually begun working on a range of projects relating to thermal waters, with Hungary bringing its know-how in the treatment field. A few years ago, we organised a thermal waters conference in Chongqing, which brought together academic and medical professionals from the field. In the future, we look forwards to continuing to develop this sector.

Cultural exchange

We have established several academic cooperation programmes, and SISU now offers a Hungarian course. We can also help students to access government scholarships to go to study in Hungary. In the future, we expect to see increased cooperation in the cultural sector as travel becomes easier.