Business in the Czech Republic: A golden opportunity
Ing. Ilja Mazánek, Head of the Foreign Section of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, reminded the Arabian proverb: “A man has two ears and one tongue, but he still talks more than listens.” He also emphasized that the Middle East countries are an extremely traditional market for Czech exporters and that these markets are guarantees in crises. He enumerated the sectors that are mutually convenient: energy, pipelines, healthcare, water management, architect offices. “When you are starting out in the Kingdom, you have to be patient. Each company will break through if it has a core product and persists in doing its business. A direct contact with a partner is essential,” he added. In his opinion, the Czech export offers a high added value, which correlates with the intention of the Saudi government to reduce the dependence of its economy on exports of crude oil and petroleum industry in general.
According to Ing. Petr Pospíšil, Head of the Investment Section of the government agency CzechInvest, the advantage of the Czech Republic for importers from Saudi Arabia is, in turn, its strategic geographical location, skilled and relatively cheap labour force, good infrastructure and a stable investment environment.
Prof. Michal Mejstřík, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, confirmed that “looking at the IMF’s outlook you can see a number of countries dealing with difficulties, but not the Middle East.” The search for new markets gradually becomes a topical issue. “It is not just about volumes, but about value-added exports,” he added.
Kamil Blažek, Chairman of the Association for Foreign Investment, highlighted the low level of inflation in the Czech Republic, and the existing agreement on investment protection as well as the agreement on avoidance of double taxation. According to him, the Czech Republic has also become a centre for bio- and nanotechnologies.