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Economy minister pays impromptu visit to U.S.

Economy Minister János Kóka paid a low-key visit to the United States over the weekend to discuss future U.S. investments in Hungary, business daily Világgazdaság said on Monday. While the government spent the weekend at Lake Balaton thrashing out its reform agenda, Kóka made an impromptu flight to New York. Kóka said that he had been in discussions on substantive investment opportunities that had arisen during President George W Bush's Budapest visit last week. He confirmed the paper's information from its own unnamed sources that a U.S. services centre investment, creating 500 jobs, was being negotiated. Világgazdaság also reported that a "significant" autos sector investment was on the table from over the Atlantic. Kóka, however, said he did not want to comment on that in any way. But he did say a significant venture capital fund led by AIG was poised to enter Hungary's market. He is meeting American investment experts with the aim of preparing the ground so that Hungary is seen Economy minister pays impromptu visit to U.S. - as the potential site within in central and eastern Europe for services. So far Hungary has been on the receiving end of $9 billion of active U.S. investments, said the paper.