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Chinese investments in chemical industry


04-26-2017 14:01 BJT

Full coverage: Belt and Road Forum for Int'l Cooperation

(Source: CGTN)

By mid -2016, Chinese investments in Hungary exceeded 3.5 billion US dollars and one of the most significant investments was procurement of Hungary’s chemical giant BorsodChem in 2011 by the Chinese Wanhua Group. At the time, BorsodChem was at the verge of bankruptcy and sending to the country's unemployment bureau more than 2,500 workers. Now, BorsodChem is one of the top employers in northeastern Hungary and one of only eight producers of polyurethane components in the world.

One of last reminders of turbulent and insecure past is being torn down in the BorsodChem’s Hungarian chemical plant in the town of Kazincbarcika. Old and unused cooling towers are already replaced with new, modern, energy-efficient and eco- friendly plants.  And just meters away in the middle of a chemical plant, a couple of wild rabbits freely roaming the area. Another sign of a new, eco-friendly era. New plants are in the middle of construction here, the factory is expanding due to increased demand of its products, workers jobs are firmly secured.  In 2011, BorsodChem encountered financial problems but China’s Wanhua Industrial Group acquisition of the plant turned the company around.

"If you consider this 2,600 jobs here locally, then it’s meaning like almost is amount of families that are involved in the life of BorsodChem, and of course if the company would have closeddown at that time or if Wanhua as investor did not came to this city, then this would have cause a big problem for this city," Dr. Judith Juhasz-Nagy, advisor to The Mayor Of Kazincbarcika, said.

And now this statue of a Chinese dragon, standing at the Kazincbarcika’s main city square is a show of not just appreciation of Chinese partners but also a sign of building a harmonious Hungarian - Chinese community in this town.

"Firstly, the investment from Wanhua to BorsodChem is in line with Chinese government’s policy of “going outside,” a policy encouraging Chinese companies to seek for overseas development. BorsodChem has one of the largest employers in northeast Hungary has been supporting the development of local community and programs organized by local government. The Hungarian government provided the company good policies for development," Hongjie Lyu, chairman of BorsodChem, said.

Local workers do not hide their satisfaction with Wanhua’s acquisition of BorsodChem.

"After the Chinese shareholders Wanhua arrived it was clear that they have long term plans with BorsodChem and they brought financial stability," Gabor Kristof, site service maanger of BorsodChem, said.

"The wages are increasing day by day, so it is good for us and good for my family too," Szabolcs Juhasz with BorsodChem said.

Wanhua’s acquisition of BorsodChem is the largest Chinese investment in Middle and East Europe so far providing a win- win situation for all sides.

This is the success story or story about success and it started few years ago when the Chinese company Wanhua came to rescue of this old, dilapidated and crippled chemical plant in northeastern Hungary. Now, six years later, everything looks so much different.

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