The ‘16+1’, a summit of central bank governors from China and the Central and Eastern European countries, was held in Budapest for the first time. The two-day meeting, officially opened on Friday, has been the largest central bank related event ever to take place in Hungary. The meeting, organised at the House of Wisdom jointly by the Central Bank of Hungary and the People’s Bank of China, was opened by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Governor of the People’s Bank of China Yi Gang and by Governor of the Central Bank of Hungary, György Matolcsy.


The idea of establishing the 16+1 initiative, a platform for co-operation between the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and China, was first raised in Budapest in 2011, following the China-CEE Economic and Trade Forum; this cooperation was extended in November 2017 to the countries’ central banks by heads-of-states of the Central and Eastern European countries and China at the 6th China-CEE (16+1) summit also held in Budapest. says the press release of the Central Bank of Hungary.

In addition to China, 11 EU Member States (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) and 5 non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) participate in the collaborative project. The 16 European countries involved constitute the region of the Continent which has by now become the engine of European economic growth, and which is set to record robust growth over the period ahead.

The two-day event will host, in addition to the Governor of the People’s Bank of China, central bank governors from 4 CEE countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Lithuania), deputy central bank governors from 6 countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Montenegro, Serbia), and members of senior or middle management from 3 central banks (Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia). The European Central Bank has also sent an observer to the meeting.

Following the ceremonial opening, the central bank delegations participated in round-table discussions, where, among others, issues related to economic development in Central and Eastern Europe and China, new possibilities for financial co-operation between central banks, as well as the exploration of opportunities for existing and potential future co-operation were also discussed. The event is expected to further strengthen Hungary’s leading role in developing financial and central bank relations in the CEE region consisting of 16 countries with China.

Images by: MTI