CzechInvest has adopted a new strategy for its further development based on five basic pillars: enhanced activity abroad, improved service for investors, better coordination of support for small and medium-sized enterprises, emphasis on using research and development capacities, and general improvement of communication with both clients cooperating institutions. The purpose of the strategy is to achieve the clear objective of placing the Czech Republic among Europe’s ten most attractive countries for investors within three years.
“The Czech Republic is transitioning from the status of a developing economy to that of a developed economy. As such, the time when investors were attracted to the country by low production costs and cheap labour has long since passed,” says Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek. “Nevertheless, CzechInvest manages every year to mediate a larger number of investment projects, among which expansions are more prevalent than purely foreign investments, so FDI inflow has almost ceased in recent years.”
“Therefore, we must focus more intensively on our activities abroad,” adds Karel Kučera, who was appointed CEO of CzechInvest by Minister Mládek in October last year. The Czech Republic’s investment environment is relatively complex. When entering our country, new investors face a number of factors that are not present among our neighbours,” says Kučera. “In particular, most investors encounter unpredictably long permit processes, high fees for releasing industrial parcels from the agricultural land fund and long waiting periods for issuing residency visas to skilled workers.”
The first of the five pillars on which CzechInvest is building its new strategy is enhancement of the agency’s activities abroad. The second is improvement of services for firms already operating in the Czech Republic. “In these two areas, we are focusing especially on strengthening our foreign offices around the world and providing greater assurance and better services to existing investors, whether through expansion of the supply of business properties or by providing assistance in dealing with authorities. We are also seeking new possibilities of support for both foreign and domestic investments,” Kučera explains.
CzechInvest also wants to be more active in supporting the use of applied research and R&D capacities for the needs of industry. “In areas with high value added, such as aviation, bio- and nanotechnology, we are initiating closer cooperation with research and development institutes not only in the Czech Republic, but also abroad,” Kučera adds. With focus on investments and capital inflow, CzechInvest also plans to consolidate and coordinate support for small and medium-sized enterprises. The agency will build on existing projects like CzechEkoSystem focused on support for the venture-capital ecosystem, CzechAccelerator supporting the development of innovative Czech firms in advanced foreign markets, and administration of the sectoral database of suppliers. “In cooperation with other partners, we also want to intensify support for start-ups and development of the supplier and export capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises,” adds Kučera.
More intensive communication with clients and cooperating institutions is the fifth, overarching pillar of CzechInvest’s strategy. “This involves interdepartmental cooperation mainly in the creation of legislative conditions for business and investment, more intensive cooperation at the level of regions, which are a sort of foreland of investments, and marketing communication that is more strategic in nature. In this last item, we are placing emphasis on maximum use of EU structural funds, especially full utilisation of the resources of the current operational programme,” says Kučera.
In the coming months, CzechInvest will prepare a strategy for priority foreign territories. Within three years, implementation of the agency’s new strategy should lead to achievement of the stated goal of making the Czech Republic one of Europe’s ten most attractive countries for investors.
For more information please contact the CzechInvest Press Centre
Ludmila Worbisová, Spokesperson, phone: +420 296 342 538,firstname.lastname@example.org, www.czechinvest.org
Contact to the Ministry of Industry and Trade:
Mgr. František Kotrba, Spokesperson, phone.: +420 224 854 137, +420 702 211 157, email@example.com, www.mpo.cz