On a three-day business-oriented visit to China, Czech President Miloš Zeman personally promoted Czech products at the China International Import Expo fair, slammed protectionist measures by the US and called on entrepreneurs to show courage in winning new trade deals. Meanwhile, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček opened a new chapter in Czech-Chinese dialogue: human rights issues.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has said he wants to help Czech
exporters find new markets outside of the EU, on which they are now largely
Following talks with the Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Minister Petříček said he would push for better coordination in helping Czech exporters. The Czech foreign minister said that next year he hopes to visit Latin America and Africa with this goal in mind.
The ministry is also planning to employ export specialists who will work with Czech exporters in helping to expand their scope.
Approximately 90 percent of Czech companies plan to invest in modernization
and expansion, according to a survey of over 12,000 companies conducted by
the European Investment Bank.
The Czech figure, which is just one percent lower than last year, is still above the EU average of 87 percent, according to the bank’s deputy president Vazil Hudák.
The Czech companies surveyed said their investment plans were complicated by a lack of skilled workers and excessive regulation of the labour market.
Czech president Miloš Zeman leaves for an official visit of China on
Saturday. The Czech head of state will be received by his Chinese
counterpart Xi Jinping in Shanghai on Monday.
The Czech delegation, made up of some 70 business representatives and four ministers, including Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, will attend China International Import Expo, an international trade fair focused on imports into the world’s most populous state.
Mr. Zeman has visited Beijing in the past and also hosted the Chinese president in Prague.
Due to the chronic labour shortage, Czech economic growth will slow to 3.6
percent this year and to 3.3 percent in 2019, the Czech Chamber of Commerce
says in a new forecast.
The prediction is based on data from the retail bank Česká spořitelna and the chamber’s own surveys.
By June 2019 there could be half a million unfilled positions, about 60,000 more than today, according to the chamber, which has been lobbying the government to double the annual quota for workers from Ukraine to 40,000 to help fill the gap.
As the United Arab Emirates continue to lower their country’s economic dependency on oil, new opportunities are on the rise. Czech companies, for whom the UAE are the biggest trading partner in the Persian Gulf, see the upcoming EXPO 2020, a Universal Exposition to be held in Dubai in two years’ time, as a great opportunity to extend trade relations. This week saw a special trade mission, made up of Czech companies, travel to the UAE and explore prospective business deals.
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