“We may have few natural resources, but our heads are always at hand; using our creativity is vital to us”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s State Secretary for Information and the International Representation of Hungary said on Monday in Budapest at the opening of the 4th China-CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) Cultural and Creative Industry Forum.

Tamás Menczer stressed: “The growth of the creative industry is double that of the Hungarian economy, even though the total rate of Hungary’s growth is 5.3 percent, which is currently the highest in Europe. Outstanding among the dozen or so sectors that make up the creative industry are the film, advertising and fashion industries, and Hungarian entrepreneurs currently have the opportunity to achieve the greatest international successes within these fields”.

“This year, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Hungary and China, and bilateral relations have never been as good as they are these days, as also indicated by the fact that trade flow exceeded 8.7 billion dollars in 2018, an increase of some 10 percent compared to the previous year”, the State Secretary said.

At the event, highlighting the economic and social significance of the creative sectors, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology’s Ministerial Commissioner for the Creative Industry József Fülöp emphasised that success in this field can also only be achieve via cooperation. He pointed out that creativity has a great tradition in Hungary, and it could play an important role in achieving long-term economic goals. “Hungary’s economic and political stability, calculable legal and investment environment, and the Government’s commitment to innovation, represent positive conditions for the creative industry”, he added.

At the event, the People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to Budapest Duan Jielong said that in his evaluation relations between the two countries have developed favourably for decades, despite changes in the international environment and the geographical distance. “Thanks to Hungary’s eastern roots, bilateral relations are strong and are based on trust; Chinese culture is able to be present with a large number of programmes and institutions in Budapest to an extent that is unique in even European comparison”, he added.

The head of the Chinese delegation welcomed the fact that relations between China and Central Europe are not only strong with relation to trade, but also the creative industry and culture. Representing China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ma Feng called the latter a prerequisite to social development. “The cultural industry is also one of the most significantly growing areas within China’s GDP, and accordingly the creative sector has become one of the determining factors of the country’s economic power”, he stated. “China would like to expand cultural trade at a global level, and believes that the cooperation that has been established with the states of Central and Eastern Europe still includes opportunities that could reinforce other areas of the economy”, he emphasised.

In the interests of reinforcing relations, Ma Feng called for the exchange of experiences, the joint funding of common projects and more effective relations within the fields of the creative economy, tourism and innovation. He also called for the establishment of a platform in which Hungary and the region’s states, and China, can present their cultural achievements and events, and promised assistance to enable Central European enterprises and creative professionals to be able to appear at Chinese international fairs and professional events.