Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

18th September 2014 Budapest, Hungary

Going South

Every 2 or 3 months I try to visit one of Hungary’s regions.  It’s important to get out of Budapest, get to know the whole country and make and keep good contacts in the other big cities.  This week I went South and visited Pécs with the head of the British Business Centre, Oliver Strommer.

It’s a beautiful, almost Mediterranean style city.  And one where, I hope, there’s good potential for British companies to find excellent partners.  BAT (British American Tobacco) have made their home on Pécs, but to date there’s little other British involvement there.  So I went to discuss with the mayor how we might address that, and then spent a good part of the afternoon with the Chamber of Commerce.  I came away with a good set of business cards and what seem to be some good opportunities for Oliver and my colleagues in the Embassy to follow up.  And having done interviews for local TV I hope we’ll get a few more contacts from local companies over the next few days.

Ambassador Knott meeting with the Chamber of Commerce at Pécs
Ambassador Knott meeting with the Chamber of Commerce at Pécs

We also got a little imaginative in our search for business.  We visited the nuclear waste storage facility in Bátaapáti and a huge Bonafarm dairy farm.  Both really interesting visits but also potential sources of business opportunities: British firms are strong in both the nuclear and advanced farming sectors and I’d like to see whether we can introduce a potential partner or two to both.

Visiting Zsolnay Quarter, the world famous porcelaine manufacture
Another stop of the Pécs visit was a trip to the Zsolnay Quarter, the world famous porcelaine manufacture

The other area it seemed it might be worth pursuing is cooperation in tourism. The UK is the 3rd biggest tourist destination in Europe and Pécs might be able to use some of that experience, particularly round its cultural and historic attractions.

The visit, of course, is just a first step in building contacts.  And I hope we’ve made some relationships which will bear fruit in the future.  But if you know Pécs and have suggestions for ways British and local business might work together, please drop me a line: I’m in the market for local knowledge.

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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