Dear Friends of Hungary,
It is my honor and privilege to serve as the Ambassador of Hungary to the United States of America. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to exploring new and innovative ways for the Governments of Hungary and the United States, and for Hungarians and Americans, to work together on further enhancing our already strong relationship.
The bonds linking Hungary and the United States are as strong as ever, supported by our long history of friendship and shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States heralds a new era of US-Hungarian relations. I am excited to work with the new administration and members of Congress on a number of far-ranging political and economic issues. Demonstrating the political power and influence of the Hungarian-American Caucus, Representatives Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) both spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight in October 2016.
Dynamically growing economic ties also provide a unique opportunity for shared prosperity between our two countries. The United States is Hungary’s largest trading partner outside the European Union. Up to 1,715 US companies, and 40 of the 50 largest US corporations currently operate in Hungary, providing employment to over 92,000 Hungarians. As the Ambassador of Hungary, I will continue to work closely with American business partners, the US Government, and the private sector to promote cultural, academic and scientific cooperation, further encourage US investment in Hungary, and foster an economic environment assuring that the United States will remain Hungary’s largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outside the European Union.
Hungary is also a staunchly committed member of NATO and the transatlantic alliance. Since 1999, when Hungary first joined NATO, Hungarian soldiers have fought in key theaters around the globe, including in the fight against ISIL in Afghanistan and Northern Iraq. The Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) at Pápa Airbase in Western Hungary, a staging point for missions across Afghanistan and the Middle East remains the most tactically important NATO heavy airlift capability military base in all of Europe. In 2017, Hungary pledged to increase defense expenditures to 2% of GDP, and has called on fellow NATO members to take their commitment to the security alliance seriously by supplying a similar goal for their defense spending target. Similarly, Hungary continues to work closely with the United States and its European allies to ensure regional stability and integration of the Western Balkans into the transatlantic security alliance.
Today, the Hungarian-American community is a more established and productive part of the United States than ever before. These successive generations of Hungarians, many of whom fled their homeland during the Second World War and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight, went on to make great scientific, business and cultural contributions to their new homeland: Béla Bartók, Robert Capa, Ernst von Dohnányi, John von Neumann, Edward Teller, Air Lease Corporation’s CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy, Intel’s founder John Grove, Interactive Brokers Group Chairman Thomas Péterffy, Microsoft’s Excel Developer Charles Simonyi, Former New York Governor George Pataki, and even Musician Tommy Ramone of The Ramones. I will do my utmost to reach out and connect with members of the Hungarian diaspora living across the United States as we seek to realize our common goals.
Hungary is a stable democracy and a successful market economy, a proud, free and independent nation that is firmly rooted in the Euro-Atlantic family. We are bound here by our security and primary economic interests, and, most importantly, by our long held political and cultural values. I am strongly committed both personally and professionally to working with my American partners to strengthen the strategic alliance and friendship between Hungary and the United States.
We share and believe in the same fundamental guiding principles and values. They bind Hungary and the United States together and will forever remain a platform for future cooperation between our two great countries.
László Szabó, MD
Ambassador of Hungary to the United States of America