'Commercial Diplomacy In Action', By Jonathan Knott, British Ambassador To Hungary

  • 12 Mar 2013 8:00 AM
'Commercial Diplomacy In Action', By Jonathan Knott, British Ambassador To Hungary
It’s been a long time since I last posted a blog. Not because I’ve got lazy! But because I’ve been travelling so much lately. I’ve been away for large parts of three of the last four weeks. Each time for really good events, and each of which events were about the Central Europe region rather than just about Hungary. But they’ve taken up so much time! Let me tell you about the trips.

The first was to London, where I helped run a big seminar which brought key people involved in nuclear power generation in Central Europe together with British experts in building, running and decommissioning nuclear plants. I firmly believe nuclear is part of our energy generation mix for the future and I was really pleased to have been able to help make some contacts between these two groups.

This sort of business is long term, but I’m hopeful that we’ll see British individuals and companies helping make sure Central Europe gets the energy sources it needs. Because we don’t make reactors themselves in the UK, we’re able to offer solutions across a range of technologies – and help make sure nuclear suppliers get value for money.

Next I spent a few days in the North East of England at a trade event. I went to Newcastle to talk to British businesses there about the opportunities which there are for them here in Central Europe. There were around 200 companies at the conference and I was able to give a plenary presentation, so I hope the message got well spread about.

It was encouraging to have a good number of companies come for more details during the course of the conference. I’ll pass those leads on to our trade experts in Embassies around Central Europe. What went down best was that we’ve established a one-stop-shop for those British companies which are curious about the offer here. We now have one person per sector who can offer good advice on all the markets in he region – so you don’t have to ring round all 9 countries to find out if there are opportunities for you.

Then last week I went to Vienna where all the Ambassadors in Central Europe got together to compare notes: to see which solutions different Embassies have found to challenges we all face and to discuss the best way to handle the issues which are coming up over the next few months. I really enjoyed it. Especially the team-building session where we had to build a roller-coaster out of paper together. And I brought t back to Budapest a lot of good tips for ways we can work even better here.

But I’m very happy not to have too much travel away from Hungary in the next few weeks. There’s so much I want to do here and so many ideas I want to put into practice. You’ll be able to read about them here. I’m also happy to be away from the temptation of full English breakfasts and Vienna cream cakes. My diet has not been very healthy! But now I’m back home and the weather’s getting better I have lots of plans for exercise to help shift the winter weight. Does anyone have any tips on how to prepare to swim across Lake Balaton?

Source: British Embassy Budapest

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