Hungary’s Eastern Opening: Political and Economic Impacts

Hungary’s Eastern Opening: Political and Economic Impacts
2019-12-20 KKI
Analysis by Lisa Irimescu

This brief seeks to understand the political and economic impacts of Hungary’s “Eastern Opening” policy. Despite nearly ten years of this turn to the East – specifically China – this brief finds that the outcomes of the policy are negligible. In response, this brief recommends that the government focus on helping Hungarian firms break into the Chinese market, build human capital, develop FDI game plans for Chinese investors, and rebrand the Budapest–Belgrade railway as infrastructure to export Hungarian goods to the Balkan nations. In essence, this brief argues that the government must focus on using its partnership with China to empower Hungarians, rather than Chinese firms.

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