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Hungarian Ambassador visits Clayton

By Justin Boron

jboron@news-daily.com

Clayton County is still building its bridge with a country halfway across the world.

The Clayton County Chamber of Commerce International Promotions Council sponsored a document exchange Wednesday at the National Archives and Records Administration's Southeast location in Morrow.

Andras Simonyi, the Hungarian Ambassador to the United States, exchanged a copy of the Hungarian Constitution for one of the U.S. Constitution.

The document exchange was part of a three day conference with Hungarians intended to boost business ties.

But Simonyi said developing personal relationships was the focal point of this visit.

"What we want to do here is touch some minds and hearts," Simonyi said.

For business opportunities, he said he would love for his country to be involved with Delta Air Lines.

"I hope Delta picks up the Hungarian airlines," Simonyi said.

He also said his country was interested in business opportunities in the technology sector.

Jack Hancock, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said the Hungarian visit could give the county more of an international identity as it leverages Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for more business sources.

"This is the first opportunity that we have had to be the driving force in an alliance of this nature," he said.

Hancock also said he hosted several of the Hungarians at his home the previous night.

"They're just down to earth folks," he said. "They're just nice people"

The trade initiative is a result of an international effort beginning more than a year ago. Clayton State University as well as the Chamber of Commerce have been involved.

In the fall of 2003, Grant Wainscott, a member of the International Promotions Council, Clayton State President Thomas K. Harden, and several other delegates journeyed to Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic for 10 days.