Houston wants to become a trade partner and market of Vietnamese businesses, said the US city’s Mayor Annise Parker on December 3.

The mayor made her remark during her reception for new Vietnamese Consul General in Texas Nguyen Van Hoa as he began his working tenure in the state.

Mayor Parker said as the fourth biggest city in the US , Houston is strong on energy industry, especially oil and gas, biomedicine, transport, agriculture and education, adding that the city’s GDP in 2012 reached 449 billion USD.

She noted that talks are already underway on a direct air route between Houston and Vietnam , and the city has sent several business delegations to the Southeast Asian country for market survey and seeking investment opportunities.

The mayor recognised the contributions made by the Vietnamese overseas community in Houston over the past years, saying that they are a potential resource for the city’s development, as well as for the ties between the city and Vietnamese partners.

For his part, Consul General Hoa thanked the local government for facilitating the Vietnamese Consulate General’s operation. He affirmed that he will work to further all-round ties between the two countries in general and between Vietnam and Texas State in particular.

Hoa also suggested setting up twin relations between Houston and a locality in Vietnam and invited Mayor Parker to visit Vietnam in the near future.-VNA