The predecessor of the Investment and Business Development Agency CzechInvest was the Federal Agency for Foreign Investment (FAFI), which was established by the Ministry of the Economy of the Czechoslovak Republic on 1 October 1990 as part of the measures responding to the fall of the country’s communist regime. These measures were aimed at ensuring the opening of the economy and its transition to market principles, establishment of links to global market and overall modernisation of the economy. This required a significant inflow of foreign capital and effective support from government bodies.
With the division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, FAFI ceased to exist and on 1 November 1992 the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic founded the contributory organisation CzechInvest – Czech Agency for Foreign Investment, whose establishment and management was entrusted to Josef Lébl, who had previously been involved in FAFI. The agency had eleven employees in 1993.
CzechInvest began to arrange the initial foreign investments for the Czech Republic. In 1993, it chalked up the first two successfully arranged investments worth CZK 361 million. Five years later, in 1998, that number had grown to 41 investments in the value of CZK 40 billion. CzechInvest brought to the Czech Republic the American company Johnson Controls, Panasonic AVC of Japan and the German firm Hella-Behr, and Volkswagen’s entry into Škoda Auto was at hand. The agency’s outstanding results in 2000 and 2001 were recognised by the prestigious British institution Corporate Location two years in a row, when CzechInvest was named the “Best Investment Agency in Europe”.
With its expanding agenda, the agency’s staff also grew to more than 60 employees in 2002. CzechInvest eventually moved from the original Ministry of Industry and Trade building on Na Františku Street to the other ministry building on Politických vězňů Street. Part of the staff worked for a time in the offices of the Czech News Agency building on Opletalova Street. In late 1999 and early 2000, the agency settled into its current offices on Štěpánská Street.
With the signing of the EU accession treaty in 2003 CzechInvest’s activities were expanded with support for small and medium-sized enterprises from EU Structural Funds. CzechInvest was merged with the Regional Development Agency and the Industrial Development Agency (CzechIndustry), thus bringing about the establishment of the Investment and Business Development Agency CzechInvest on 2 January 2004.
In the early years of the new millennium, more renowned foreign investors entered the Czech Republic with CzechInvest’s support: Panasonic AS, TPCA, Daikin, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Accenture, Mölnlycke, Foxconn, Toxoda Gosei, Denso, Honeywell, Continental, Robert Bosch, Siemens and many others.
By 2015, at which time CzechInvest had 263 employees, the agency had arranged 1,628 investments worth nearly CZK 896 billion.
A year later, the division responsible for administering support for small and medium-sized enterprises from EU Structural Funds was separated from CzechInvest, giving rise to the new Enterprise and Innovation Agency, which was established on 1 June 2016. CzechInvest thus returned to its original purpose: support for foreign and domestic investments.
In 2017, the Investment and Business Development Agency CzechInvest is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its establishment. The value of investments arranged by the agency to date approaches CZK 1 trillion.
|11/1992 - 3/1993
||Ing. Josef Lébl, tasked with establishing and managing the agency
|4/1993 - 9/1999
||Ing. Arch. Jan Ámos Havelka, CEO
||Ing. Hana Chlebná, acting CEO
|11/1999 - 8/2004
||Ing. Martin Jahn MBA, CEO
|8/2004 - 11/2005
||Ing. Radomír Novák, CEO
|12/2005 - 4/2007
||Ing. Tomáš Hruda, CEO
|4/2007 - 10/2007
||Ing. Roman Čermák, CEO
|11/2007 - 8/2010
||Ing. Alexandra Rudyšarová, CEO
|9/2010 - 8/2012
||Ing. Miroslav Křížek, CEO
|8/2012 - 8/2013
||Ing. Petr Očko, Ph.D, acting CEO
|8/2013 - 2/2014
||Ing. Marian Piecha, Ph.D, LLM, CEO
|2/2014 - 10/2014
||Ing. Ondřej Votruba, CEO
||Mgr. Ing. Karel Kučera, CEO