Economic development was the center of attention in Missouri City recently during a dialogue with senior Vietnamese officials and dignitaries on the diversity of business opportunities available locally.
Mayor Allen Owen, Councilmember Danny Nguyen, City Manager Edward Broussard, Economic Development Coordinator Bob Graf and other senior Staff members met with a trade delegation of Vietnamese leaders, to discuss Missouri City’s growing commercial base and potential future partnerships.
To symbolize the commitment between the country and the city, Mayor Owen signed a memorandum of understanding on trade with Phan Van Ban, Deputy General Director of the Vietnamese Agency for Industry Promotion.
Also, the delegation viewed two videos translated into Vietnamese about the city’s many attributes, including being named in a Rice University study as one of the most diverse cities in the region, having a highly-educated citizenry, providing excellent recreational amenities and featuring scenic communities for families.
Mayor Owen stressed the city’s desire to develop a closer relationship with international countries. “By approving this memorandum of understanding today, we will establish a relationship with Vietnam,” he told the visitors. “I think this part of our diversity growth includes reaching out to people to develop those relationships.”
Councilmember Nguyen, chair of City Council’s International Relations Committee and a native of Vietnam, also addressed the group. Speaking in Vietnamese, he emphasized that Missouri City has a viable economic base, which continues to attract major companies to the area. Nguyen noted the City will continue its strong growth by building economic bridges locally, nationally and internationally.
The leaders also received an overview of local business development and growth from Economic Development Coordinator Bob Graf. He said Missouri City is “one of the best and most attractive cities” in the region and is home to a number of major companies such as Ben E. Keith, Global Geophysical, Warren Alloy, and Lufkin Industries.
Graf listed a wide range of new firms that have chosen to put down roots here due to the City’s strategic location in the greater Houston area. “Missouri City is close to key travel arteries like Beltway 8 and Highway 90A, major airports, the Houston Port Authority and the world renowned Texas Medical Center,” he said. Graf added that the City has increased the commercial tax base from 15 percent to 24 percent since 2005, securing its place as a major business hub.
Commenting on the City, Vietnamese Consul General Le Dung said “when I come here, I feel like I am back in my hometown because I spend a lot of time at the Quail Valley Golf Course.” After the moment of levity, he continued, “my mission is very simple. My priority is to promote trade and investment between Vietnam and Texas.”