In cooperation with the Czech embassy, CzechInvest held an official dinner last week in Washington for American investors operating in the Czech Republic. The meeting with representatives of eighteen companies in the areas of aerospace, pharmacy, ICT and other modern sectors was attended by CzechInvest CEO Karel Kučera together with the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the United States, Petr Gandalovič, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Tlapa.
Others in attendance included, for example, representatives of Red Hat, Steelcase, IBM, Amazon, Merck, Oracle, Bell Helicopter, GE Aviation and AT&T. “All of these companies are already operating in the Czech Republic and, with our assistance, they are further expanding their activities here,” says Karel Kučera, CEO of CzechInvest.
“We are currently registering heightened interest from American investors primarily in the high-tech area and related fields. Among other things, this can be attributed to the exchange rate, which recently shifted by 40% in favour of investors.”
American firms are among the most frequent investors in the Czech Republic. Their investments rank among those with higher value added and thus do not involve only manufacturing projects. In the first half of 2014, CzechInvest helped to mediates investments of American firms in the combined value of nearly 120 million USD. These investments are expected to create 2,500 new jobs.
In connection with their trip to the United States, Karel Kučera and Martin Tlapa also met with representatives of Honeywell, which has decided to expand its development centre in Brno with the addition of eight new laboratories and approximately 300 jobs. Mr. Kučera’s trip to the United States followed his visit to South Korea in February. Both trips were undertaken in connection with the agency’s new strategy, which places emphasis on enhancing CzechInvest’s activities abroad.
Representatives of CzechInvest, CzechTrade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also discussed the further strengthening of cooperation in the area of economic diplomacy. “Working with investors is undoubtedly a part of modern international diplomacy. Diplomats should spend time on those activities which can bring the greatest benefit to our country,” says Martin Tlapa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy.
“We pay close attention to coordination and cooperation between commercial diplomacy and representatives of economic agencies to the benefit of economic interests in the United States,” adds Petr Gandalovič, ambassador of the Czech Republic in the United States.