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July News Digest

Links between Grampian and Houston remain vibrant, Grampian-Houston Association Chairman Brett Jackson (pictured) stated in his report at the Association’s annual meeting. He said he had recently been approached by two Aberdeen firms considering opening offices in Houston.  Brett’s firm Granite PR has an office in Houston and the new Chairman of the Grampian-Houston Association Jim Shiach is visiting our Sister City this month to pursue business opportunities for his firm Centrifuges Un-limited, environmental waste processing specialists.

Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner has been appointed Co-Chair of Climate Mayors, an organisation of 331 U.S. Mayors, who have pledged to uphold the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw America from the international pact. Mayor Turner said, “As the energy capital of the world it’s our responsibility to find sustainable ways to power the future. By investing in green power, improving building efficiency, and re-vitalising our green spaces, Houston is proof that large industrial cities can act on climate and maintain a robust, growing economy.”

New hotel development continues apace in Houston despite the continuing downturn in the energy sector. There are currently just under  5000 hotel rooms under construction – 3.5% more than at the same point last year. Only five U.S. cities have more hotel rooms under development and Houston has more than some tourist destinations such as Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Denver and Chicago.

In a list of America’s Best Large Cities Houston has been placed at No 7 behind New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and San Diego. The survey assessed housing affordability and the number of direct air links, major league sports teams, quality entertainment experiences and quality museums and fine arts institutions.  Houston also fared well in a global business survey of 128 cities assessing their projected levels of importance and competitiveness in the future.  Our Sister City was placed at No 8 behind San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Boston, Melbourne and Munich. The survey considered forward looking strategies, environmental projections, patents per capita as an indicator of entrepreneurship, personal well being, economics, innovation and governance. Houston emerged as a world leader in gross domestic product per capita.