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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Forum Provides a Voice for Business Sector

President, New Silk Road Institute Prague, Mr. Jan Kohout

“It gives me great honour to address you at this forum, which is jointly organised by CEIBS and New Silk Road Institute Prague along with co-organiser ACIE.  I’m also very glad to see that the audience in this room is mainly composed of entrepreneurs form China and the Czech Republic, as well as senior representatives of different organisations.

The relationship between China and the Czech Republic has developed very rapidly through multiple platforms. And the Czech Republic is also one of the strategic partners of China.  There have been a number of MoUs signed between the two countries.  In terms of trade, export volume is also increasing, which is a very positive factor.  But there is still a lot to be achieved for us in the future.

It is a fact that China has a strong interest in working with the Czech Republic and this forum is the best testimony.  We are now in a very special year marking the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up policy. So we are more interested in how we can better improve the quality of our economic development.  In retrospect, there are a lot of achievements made [now we need to look at] how we can better move into the future.   

Both countries have established strong political economic connections and there are still some projects in the planning stage in some areas. And we can do a lot of things in multiple aspects.  I know we have different expectations, but our common goal is to promote the development of our countries, respectively, at the regional and even the global level.

A lot of Chinese investors are interested in infrastructure projects – transportation, logistics.  And they also expressed their interest in acquiring some IT, high tech companies. Chinese companies want to sell their products here in the CEE market.  And, from our perspective, we believe that those FDIs from China will be more focused on the high value-added sectors, with high quality of labour so that those companies can be transformed from a purely local, or regional player, to a global player. And also we have expectations for China to open up their market more, and over the past few years we’ve enhanced our mutual understanding.

Actually, we should also be very clear about our long-term strategy, as well as laws and regulations.  We’ve been making some progress, and I believe that today’s forum will be a great platform where we can exchange our ideas, which might lead to inspirations for future collaboration.  One of the possible deliverables from this forum can be some projects in the near future. I’m really very much looking forward to that.  And I welcome Chinese investors to the Czech Republic, especially in the previously mentioned areas.

The unemployment rate of the Czech Republic is very low.  We have sufficient and highly qualified labour. So my words for the business managers and entrepreneurs: one of the benefits you can get from investing in the Czech Republic is high-quality labour.  On the other side, Czech companies are also interested in getting into one of the largest markets in the world: China.  And I’m convinced that they have the technology and expertise, with their premium products, to make Chinese consumers happy. In addition, both countries can have joint R&D projects on cutting edge technologies.

I wish to see more R&D achievements made, leading to new products marketed in China, the Czech Republic, Europe and the world at large.  Of course, all this cannot be done without support from the government.  This is critical both to China and the Czech Republic.  Personally speaking, I must say that the Chinese government has given great support to its business circle, but not much support has been given to Czech companies by Czech government yet.

With today’s forum, we can be clearer about what can be the potential opportunities for Czech companies to do business in China, and I hope that the business voice can be heard so that in the future there will be more collaborations. 

I’m very glad to see that CEIBS has been playing a very important role in putting the message forward.  I’m very pleased that you have come to the Czech Republic so that we can have candid, open dialogue and enhance the relationship between the two countries, which is our ultimate goal.  Thank you for trusting in CEIBS and our Institute.

Thank you very much.”