Czech-Saudi Business Forum opening remarks

Mr. Hussein Shobokshi, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Jeddah, opened the conference with the motto: „Open your hearts and minds and open your arms to new partnerships.”

Vladimír Bärtl, Vice-minister of Industry and Trade, said that Saudi Arabia ranks to the most important trading partners of the domestic economy. In his opinion, we have recently entered into a very good framework of our cooperation and this forum counts among it, as well. According to him, at present there are ongoing bilateral negotiations concerning the Tatra assembly plant in Saudi Arabia and there are great business opportunities in the petrochemical industry. “The Minister of Industry Jan Mládek has invited his counterparts and plans to visit Saudi Arabia as part of his journey to the Middle East in February.” According to the Vice-Minister Vladimír Bärtl, the Forum is a great opportunity to deepen relationships and upgrade them to a completely different level. Ivan Jukl, Chief Director of Economic Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, means that the boundaries between traditional and informal diplomacy are nowadays fading away and the Chambers of Commerce significantly improve relationships between the countries. “Congratulations to entrepreneurs to their achievements and I wish every success to investors. Together with ambassadors we will leave this hall with tasks assigned by the forum of entrepreneurs,” said the Chief Director of Economic Section of the MFA.

Jiří Slavík, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic in Riyadh, in his speech said that our embassy in the royal capital is very flexible and available to all businessmen “to move things forward”. In his opinion, the evidence of more intense relationships is a personal presence of Prince Turki bin Abdullah, the seventh son of Saudi King Abdullah, at a gala reception held at the occasion of the Czech National Day on 28th October at our embassy. Prince emphasized that more needs to be done for mutual relations. According to Slavík, the Prince arrived to the Czech Republic on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Lubomír Zaorálek, who himself is going to visit Saudi Arabia. The ambassador also pointed out that personal meetings and long-term contacts are essential for doing business in Saudi Arabia.