Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

28th February 2012 Budapest, Hungary

Getting the ball rolling

I’ve been preparing for this job for several months, so it feels great to be here in Budapest at last: and to have been able to present my letters of credence to President Schmitt on just my third day. It was a formal occasion  but we managed to talk a little business too – and to share a joke.

President of Hungary Pál Schmitt and British Ambassador Jonathan Knott

I’ve been in Hungary, though, for the last month or so: I spent 5 weeks in nearby Velence improving my Hungarian. I really enjoyed the experience. Not just getting the language up to scratch but also getting to know how Hungarians live. I’ve come to appreciate Hungarian cuisine, wine and, of course, palinka and, after Hungary’s great performances in the European championships, even some of the finer points of waterpolo. I’m looking forward to supporting the Hungarian teams again (from an armchair) when they play at the London Olympics in the summer.

The UK and Hungary share a strong relationship already, but I look forward to helping to develop that relationship over the next few years. In particular there’s a solid commercial exchange. But I feel there’s more we can do: both our countries need to trade our way out of difficult economic times and I’d like to see more British and Hungarian firms develop strong links. Identifying those opportunities and encouraging those relationships will be one of my main  challenges here.

As a first step I’ll be doing an extended interview with Napi Gazdasag, a leading Hungarian economic daily about what the UK has to offer Hungarian firms. It will come out in March. I hope you can take a look at it and let me know what you think. It’d be great to have suggestions for areas of cooperation we can develop.

I’ll keep you informed of what I’ve been up to through this blog. And I’ll reply to as many comments and questions as I can.

Nagyköveti megbízatásom során szeretném minél jobban megismerni Magyarországot. Ha tehetik, kísérjék Önök is figyelemmel  munkámat e blogon, honlapunkon és Facebook oldalunkon.

2 comments on “Getting the ball rolling

  1. Your Excellency, welcome, welcome!!! I do hope you will have a pleasant stay here and you will enjoy your work! I have an MA in English, have always LOVED the UK…We live in very difficult times these days and a LOT of our former illusions have gone…Even those concerning the EU from some aspects…but most of us DO believe in Europe, even if we DO believe in member states’ national culture, heritage and its importance for all – to be treasured…Please, please, LISTEN to all points of views – I KNOW you will do that – we have had some sad experiences recently.. I am NOT attached to ANY political groupings – only to TRUE democracy…
    I wish you a really good, fruitful time here, best wishes and congratulations for the Olympics in advance….LOTS of Premier League football matches on different Hungarian TV channels, too…

    Best, best regards,
    Eva Flora Hartai (my family’s former name: Hangel)

  2. Hallo Ambassador, I am Patricia Silalahi, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Indonesia in Budapest. I listened to your speech during the opening ceremony of UTAZAS Exhibition, on 1st March 2012. And as I read this article above, which ended in Hungarian, I remember that some parts of your speech that day was also in Hungarian. And so the speech delivered by Ambassador of Poland. Awesome! Considering that as many people agree Hungarian language is the most difficult one. Not true 🙂

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About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

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