For years now, a senior-level representative of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) has welcomed attendees at the opening event of the China Financial Summit, held in the context of the 23rd China Beijing International High-Tech Expo (CHITEC). This year, in a video message, Deputy Governor Mihály Patai summarised the Bank’s achievements in financial digitalisation.

The China Hi-Tech Expo is China’s most prestigious series of technological events. Organised in its context, the subject of the China Financial Summit this year was the effects of fin-tech on the development of the real economy. In his video message, Deputy Governor of the MNB Mihály Patai spoke about the key role central banks have to play in financial digitalisation and the Bank’s efforts in this area. He underlined that it was central banks’ duty to coordinate new digital agents entering the financial sector and, in a wider sense, financial services and the financial system, within a regulated framework. He added that it was central banks’ responsibility to promote and coordinate digital transformation, provide consumer protection, and create financial stability while maintaining market competition and sustaining economic growth. As Mr Patai said, ‘every central banker was made aware by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that change itself cannot surprise us, only its pace. Therefore, the digital transition of national payment systems must be completed as soon as possible.’ An example he gave was the Hungarian system itself, where it was mandatory for the entire financial system to make the switch over to the instant payment system in March, which was a unique measure globally.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opening event was conducted in an unusual manner. High-ranking representatives from the Chinese government, the central bank, the economic and financial scene were present at the venue, leading officials of the invited international financial institutions were in attendance via online connection and delivered a video message. Speeches were delivered by, inter alia, leading representatives of the People’s Bank of China, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the World Bank, and the New Development Bank established by BRICS countries.