Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. David J. Kostelancik
at the Opening of the New UPS Regional Logistics Center in Vecsés
March 6, 2017
State Secretary Magyar, Mayor Szlahó, Mr. Szűcs, Mr. Cesarone, Mr. Kearney, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I thank you for the invitation. It is a great pleasure for me to attend the launch of another great American investment in Hungary.
I have had the honor to attend several of these types of events since my arrival in Hungary last August, and I have met with many executives from U.S. companies. It is clear to me that American companies like doing business here. They speak to me of Hungary’s friendly business environment. They note that its central location makes Hungary an ideal location to export to rest of Europe. They complement Hungary’s well-educated and productive work force. One company named the high quality of life in Hungary as an important factor in its decision to open an office in Budapest.
Perhaps most importantly, U.S. executives tell me they have a helpful partner in the Hungarian government. I would like to recognize the efforts of the Hungarian government to strengthen our commercial relationship. Minister Szijjarto and the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency have made great efforts to help American investors establish their businesses and succeed in Hungary.
All in all, American businesses in Hungary employ close to 100,000 Hungarians, making the United States the largest non-European investor in Hungary. These investments are good for both countries. American businesses pay taxes, are active members of local communities, and create well-paying jobs for Hungarians.
The United States and Hungary share a broad and rich bilateral relationship that encompasses military and security cooperation, law enforcement partnerships, human rights and cultural programing, as well as trade. Within this relationship, strengthening our bilateral trade and investment is one of our Embassy’s top priorities.
Partnerships between governments and businesses can help companies overcome language and cultural differences, find partners, and launch investments. Last summer our Ambassador led a business delegation to the SelectUSA Summit in Washington, DC. Thirteen Hungarian companies toured various parts of the country and evaluated investment opportunities to expand their markets in the United States. This year we plan to take another delegation to the SelectUSA Summit in June. With the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency, we hosted a group of visiting U.S. executives from the U.S.-Hungary Business Council.
Today’s event is another example of how American investors and their Hungarian partners are working together, creating jobs and opportunities, and contributing to economic growth. As trade and investment grows between our two countries, both our economic prosperity and the strength of our friendship also grow stronger.
I wish you all great success going forward.