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CzechInvest celebrates its 25th anniversary

The agency has arranged investments worth nearly CZK 1 trillion over the past quarter-century

26.09.2017
CzechInvest celebrates its 25th anniversary
  • 1,772 arranged investment project worth CZK 981 billion
  • 278,711 pledged new jobs, of which roughly 25% in structurally disadvantaged regions
  • 13 CEOs – Karel Kučera is the third-longest serving
  • new direction – investments with higher value added that offer high-paying jobs

This year CzechInvest is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its establishment. Over the past quarter-century, the agency has arranged investments, both foreign and domestic, worth CZK 981 billion for the Czech Republic. These investments have created nearly a quarter of a million jobs in all regions of the country, thanks to which the Czech Republic currently has the lowest unemployment rate in its history. To date, thirteen people have held the position of CEO of CzechInvest.

Investments arranged for the Czech Republic by CzechInvest (1993 – H1 2017)

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On the occasion of the anniversary, CzechInvest held a meeting for the most important investors and other partners in the Ball Game Hall at Prague Castle on Tuesday, 26 September 2017. The event was attended by Minister of Industry and Trade Jiří Havlíček and the agency’s founder, Josef Lébl, who is still active in CzechInvest today.

“CzechInvest’s main task has always been to gain for the Czech Republic the most appealing investment projects that support our economy and create new jobs. I believe that we have been very successful in this respect, including the fact that investors which came to country in the past have not left; on the contrary, they are further developing their investments, including new technological and innovation capacities,” says Minister of Industry and Trade Jiří Havlíček. “I also value the hard work of CzechInvest’s employees, which I have had the opportunity to see at first hand on numerous occasions.”

“Unlike the time when the Czech Republic was struggling with high unemployment and CzechInvest’s task was to bring in new jobs, we are now focusing on investments with higher added value, which will lead to further growth of the economy and bring high-paying jobs to Czechs. In the past three years, we have managed to increase the share of such investments from 11% to 25%,” says Karel Kučera, the current and third-longest serving CEO of CzechInvest.

Over the past 25 years, CzechInvest has brought to the Czech Republic investments from more than 30 countries including the United States, a broad range of European nations, Israel, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and a number of Asian countries, such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China. Germany is the leading foreign investor, followed by Japan, the United States and South Korea. China, which became active in the Czech Republic only a few years ago, ranks twentieth in this respect.

The biggest investment arranged by CzechInvest is that of the carmaker Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech, which invested CZK 34.4 billion in the construction of its factory in Nošovice, having announced the project in 2006. The second-biggest investment is the joint French-Japanese project of Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech in Kolín in the value of CZK 23.5 billion arranged in 2002. Another South Korean firm, Nexen Tire Corporation Czech s.r.o., accounts for the third-biggest investment with its project involving construction of a tire factory at a cost of CZK 22.87 billion, which was announced in 2014.

Note: A breakdown of the investments arranged by CzechInvest from 1993 to H1 2017 by country of origin, sector and region and an overview of CzechInvest CEOs are available in the document ANNEX_25_years_of_CzechInvest_2017-09-26.

Examples of major investments with higher value added that CzechInvest has arranged recently include Foxconn’s research and design centre, GE Aviation’s centre for development, testing and production of turboprop engines and Robert Bosch’s technology centre.

History

The Czech Foreign Investment Agency CzechInvest, a contributory organisation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, was founded on 1 November 1992. Its establishment and management was entrusted to Josef Lébl, who had previously been active in the agency’s predecessor, the Federal Agency for Foreign Investment. With the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU, CzechInvest’s activities were expanded with support for small and medium-sized enterprises from EU Structural Funds. CzechInvest was merged with the Business 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 2016, CzechInvest handed over administration of European funds to its sister organisation, the Enterprise and Innovation Agency, so that it could concentrate on its main task – support for investments and cultivation of the Czech investment and business environment.