asia center budapest

The Asia Center



flock emphasize along the lines
rent back (3) volume (2)
supply retailer wholesaler
pitfall saturated purchasing power
flop corner (3) delegation
give up overview window (2)
rosy volume (2)  real estate






The Asia Center is located in a suburb of Budapest.

It was built entirely along the lines of the Chinese principles of Feng Shui, which means “wind water”. They emphasize the harmony of forms, lines and arrangements.

On a busy day, as many as 18,000 visitors flock to the mainly Vietnamese and Chinese businesses here.

This Vietnamese trader pays €600 a month rent. She’s open every day for a full 12 hours.

Nguyen Thi Hoa, Vietnamese Trader: “We’re quite happy now: the rent’s not too high.

When we have a good selection, we can expand. And the center will be a good advertisement for us.”

Austrian real estate businessman, Rudolf Riedl, built the Asian Center backed by Austrian banks and construction companies.

It cost €200 million.

Chinese wholesalers supply Poland and Ukraine from here. Budapest is the main hub for Chinese goods in Eastern Europe.

Rudolf Riedl, Asia Center Managing Director: “The Chinese have focused mainly on Eastern Europe. It offers them the best growth opportunities. It’s a wide-open market.

Obviously, the purchasing power is still very low. The Western European market is saturated.”

In Hungary, a lot of people have to live on €300 a month. So the cheap goods from China are highly welcomed here.

But there are pitfalls . . .

This bathroom fitting supplier thought she would be able to corner all of Europe.

But she soon found out — painfully — that what sells well in the East, can flop —terribly — in the West.

Feng Yu Xia, Entrepreneur: “At first I thought I could export to Western Europe from here.

But in 2008 and 2009, I noticed the economic conditions were too weak — and I had to give up on the idea.

The Asia Center is also an important stop for business delegations from all over China.

Here, managing director Riedl is receiving a delegation from a region south of Shanghai.

For the visitors, the Asia Center provides an easy window for them. It gives them an overview of the kind of business opportunities which are available in Hungary.

Zhang Chen, Sales Representative: “Basically lots of companies in China like to export their goods from China to here.

But definitely, some of them like to build a factory here because of low labor costs. And also, they can label their goods “Made in Europe” or something.

In the coming years, Hungary will increase trade volumes with China to €20 billion annually.

That promises a very rosy future for Budapest’s Asia Center.


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1. The Asia Center is in downtown Budapest. Yes or no?

2. Was the Center built haphazardly or entirely on engineering models?

3. Chinese investors financed and constructed the Asia Center. True or false? Why did they build the Asia Center?

4. Is the Asia Center very popular among locals? Why is it very popular?

5. From the Asia Center, do traders distribute and sell goods all over (throughout) Europe? Why do they mainly focus on Eastern Europe?

6. The Asia Center only serves to sell products. Is this right or wrong?

7. Will things stay the same or will it change?

A. Are there many trading or shopping centers in your city? Are they owned, operated or staffed by locals, foreigners or both?
B. Do people like to buy inexpensive (cheap) items, costly (expensive) good, or does it vary? It depends?

C. Who are some of your country’s major trade partners? Which countries are increasing trade volume?

D. What are some important exports from your country? What foreign goods are popular in your country?

E. How will things change in the future?

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