Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó opened a foreign trade and consular representation in Houston, Texas on Wednesday afternoon, Central European time.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Minister told reporters: “Hungarian-American relations moved into an unarguably new dimension this week, and this momentum must be continued. In this spirit, Hungary is opening its seventh diplomatic representation in the United States following Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami”. “Hungarian-American economic cooperation is a success story. The United States is the second largest investor in Hungary and its second most important trade partner and number one export market outside the European Union”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

Texas is in first place among U.S. states with relation to foreign trade relations. It is Hungary’s third most important trade partner among the states of the USA, sending the most exports to Hungary, while it is in the number three spot among the U.S. states with relation to imports from Hungary. Nineteen enterprises from Texas have realised investments in Hungary at a total value of 320 billion forints (EUR 986 million), creating a total of 7100 jobs.

Mr. Szijjártó said one goal is to further increase Hungarian investments on the part of enterprises from Houston and Texas that generate a particularly high added value and apply the latest technologies. The lowest rates of tax in Europe are facilitating this. Investment magazine Site Selection, which is the most popular among American investors, recently listed Hungary among one of the world’s top ten investment destinations. 84 of the one thousand largest companies listed by Fortune Magazine can be found in Texas, 33 of them in Houston.

“The opening of the foreign representation is also justified by the fact that there are 3 thousand Hungarians living in Texas. Until now, they have had to travel long distances to manage their affairs with relation to the Hungarian state. Now it will be much easier for them to maintain relations with their home country. Hungarian citizens will already be able to use the consulate in Houston to vote at the European Parliament elections in May”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister told the press.

Mr. Szijjártó highlighted that Hungary also reinforced its political alliance with the United States earlier this week thanks to the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, but it is also important for relations not to have a single centre and not be restricted to Washington, and this requires a personal presence.