China to build four rolling stock production sites in Hungary

Image: Facebook. Szijjártó Péter

CCRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned rolling stock manufacturer CCRC, signed agreements with Hungarian equity fund Acemil to build four facilities in the Magyar country. The facilities will focus on rail vehicles production and maintenance as well as professional training and research and development.

This new initiative may be part of a larger agreement between China and Hungary, which includes 18 projects, as Hungarian media Telex mentioned. However, no additional information on the rolling stock production sites could be found. These 18 items were discussed while Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Hungary last week. Acemil also signed an agreement with another CRRC subsidiary, CRRC Shandong always in the context of creating rolling stock production sites in Hungary.

On the one hand, the relationship between the two countries in the context of the New Silk Road is a solid one, as Hungarian representatives already underlined. On the other hand, the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee recently highlighted the risks brought by Chinese investments in European infrastructure. Hungary, together with Serbia, was identified as the European country with the highest risk of Chinese influence or even coercion. For example, China is providing a good chunk of the funds needed for the new Budapest-Belgrade railway, which should be ready by 2025.

Who owns Acemil?

Acemil was founded in the summer of 2023, but its ownership structure remains somewhat obscure, as various Hungarian media pointed out. Some speculate that it might be linked to Antal Rogán, the current Chief of Cabinet for Orban’s government. The suspicion comes from the fact that Acemil’s office is owned by a consulting firm owned by Balázs Kertész, a Hungarian lawyer and Rogán’s confidant. The fund’s initial goal seemed to be to attract Chinese chemical companies to relocate to Hungary. However, it now seems that such initiatives are also expanding to the business of rolling stock production.

Image: Wikimedia Commons. © European People’s Party

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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