Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived here Friday for a two-day official visit, the first to Hungary by a Chinese premier in 24 years.
Hungary is the first leg of Wen's current three-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Britain and Germany.
In a written speech delivered at the airport, Wen said Hungary was one of the first countries to forge diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
He also said Hungary, currently holding the rotating European Union (EU) presidency, had worked strenuously to help develop China-EU ties.
"I believe this visit will boost mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, deepen bilateral exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation, and push for further development of the friendly and cooperative partnership between China and Hungary," Wen said.
Wen will hold talks with Hungarian leaders during the visit. He is also expected to attend the signing ceremony of a series of agreements, an indication of closer political and economic ties between the two sides.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying told a press briefing last Friday in Beijing that Wen's visit to Europe was a key diplomatic mission this year, with the purpose of promoting communication and cooperation.
With an area of less than 100,000 square kilometers, Hungary is a landlocked central European nation with a population of about 10 million.
It is one of China's most important trading partners in Central and Eastern Europe. Bilateral trade reached a record high of 8.72 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 28.1 percent on the previous year.