More than 100 specialists from the most important organisations providing shared business services are meeting in Prague this week. Taking place at the Hotel Hilton in Prague from 21 to 24 May, Shared Services Week 2007 is the most important trade fair of its type in the world. This marks the first occasion when Shared Services Week has taken place in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The event was organised by CzechInvest, the Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic.
“At CzechInvest we have long endeavoured to bring Shared Services Week to the Czech Republic,” says Robert Pilous, director of the Investment Development Department at CzechInvest. “The event had always previously taken place in Great Britain or in the Netherlands, so I consider it a great success that we manage to bring it to Prague.”
Shared business services include, for example, accounting, financial and asset management, personnel management, marketing and IT administration. Individual companies often centralise such services for an entire ground or outsource them to specialised firms.
“In the past four to five years, the Czech Republic has established itself as one of the most attractive places in Europe for investment in shared services and related fields,” explains Roman Cermak, CEO of CzechInvest. “Each year Shared Services Week is attended by 400 to 500 leading specialists, consultants, journalists and other professionals who specialise in this area.”
The Czech Republic is among the world’s most successful countries in terms of gaining investments in the business support services sector. CzechInvest has taken part in 82 projects involving shared-services centres in the value of approximately CZK 15 billion. These centres employ nearly 20,000 people in the Czech Republic. According to a study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit for 2006, foreign firms particularly value the Czech Republic’s experienced workforce, competitive prices, developed infrastructure, and its stable political environment as a member of the European Union.
MORE ABOUT CZECHINVEST
CzechInvest is the national development agency whose task is to attract foreign direct investment into the manufacturing industry and the sector of business support services and technology centres. In addition to promoting the Czech Republic abroad, the agency acts as an intermediary between the EU and small and medium-sized enterprises in the implementation of EU Structural Funds in the Czech Republic and facilitates the access of entrepreneurs to state aid. Since it was established, the agency has taken part in 771 investment projects worth over CZK 540 billion involving companies such as DHL, Symbol Technologies, Accenture, ExxonMobil, Siemens, Johnson & Johnson, Honeywell, IBM, Schneider Logistics and others which decided to locate their shared services centres in the Czech Republic.