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Japanese entrepreneurs discuss investing in the Czech Republic

Seminars in Osaka and Tokyo attended by minister Jan Mládek

23.11.2014

Last week Osaka and Tokyo hosted investment seminars organised by the CzechInvest’s Japanese office. In the course of the seminars, Japanese entrepreneurs and Czech officials discussed the Czech Republic’s workforce, investment environment and current changes in the legislation pertaining to investment incentives. They were also familiarised with the CzechLink project, which helps Czech companies to find strategic partners.

“The discussion mainly concerned the quality, availability and resilience of the workforce, as well as possible risks associated with doing business in the Czech Republic, the quality of local suppliers and cultural differences. Investors who are already doing business in the Czech Republic also shared their personal experiences,” says Eliška Nováková, CzechInvest’s representative in Tokyo.

The investment seminars were followed by a panel discussion organised by CzechInvest in cooperation with the Czech embassy in Tokyo. Both programmes featured the participation of Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek in connection with his official trip to Japan. In his address, the minister praised the investment activities of Japanese companies in the Czech Republic and expressed his belief that the potential of cooperation between the Czech Republic and Japan is far from being exhausted.

Fifty-seven attendees registered for the seminar in Osaka, which took place on Monday, 10 November 2014. These included mainly representatives of medium-sized manufacturing firms, industrial groups and financial corporations. At the Tokyo seminar, which was held two days later with one hundred participants, Minister Mládek met with representatives of major Japanese companies that are already operating in the Czech Republic and with new potential investors.

Of the various parts of the seminars, the panel discussion led by Seiji Nakagoshi, advisor to the CEO of CzechInvest, received the greatest response. The panel was composed of former and current directors of Japanese firms – Shozo Sugaya of Toray Textiles Central Europe, Shigeki Morita of Daikin Europe, Shigeru Mizoguchi of Neturen and Hiroshi Yasuda of Toyoda Gosei – who have recent experience with the Czech environment.

“We have just established a new plant in the Czech Republic last year. Evaluating various advantages and disadvantages, we ended up in choosing the Czech Republic. The decisive factors were the following four points; the perfect location, the highly-skilled labour force, the favourable costs, and its pro-Japan nationality. (…) we are very satisfied with the quality and the trustworthiness of all the highly-ranked people we hired, especially in HR, accounting and quality assurance,”says Shigeru Mizoguchi, president of Neturen Co, Ltd.

“After more than 10 years of operation in the Czech Republic, we feel that it was definitely the right decision. One of the greatest advantages I would like to emphasize is that we have never experienced labour dispute, which is always a huge problem in the other European countries – in this way, the Czech Republic is even superior to the Western countries, I believe. Another noteworthy advantage is the quality of life. The Czech Republic is comfortable to live in for Japanese people, especially in terms of lower commodity prices and language barriers,”says Shigeki Morita, vice-president of Daikin Europe N.V.