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25. 2. 2015 23:09

Prime Minister Sobotka’s address at the opening of the Czech-Korean business forum

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka opened the Czech-Korean business forum, 25 February 2015.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka opened the Czech-Korean business forum, 25 February 2015.
A Czech-Korean business forum was held on 25 February 2015 to mark Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s official visit to the Republic of Korea. The delegation was accompanied by a large mission comprising representatives of businesses and R&D institutions.

Chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries,
President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce,
Your Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to open today’s Czech-Korean business forum, held to mark the official visit of the Czech Republic’s delegation here to the Republic of Korea. On this trip, as prime minister I have been accompanied by government representatives and a large mission comprising not only business people, but also representatives of institutions from the R&D sector, including Czech universities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to start by thanking the Czech Chamber of Commerce on the Federation of Korean Industries for working together to organise this forum, and at this point I would also like to mention the business and investment support agency, CzechInvest, which has put together the subsequent seminar on the theme of foreign investments in the Czech Republic.

I am very pleased, furthermore, that we have successfully prepared a seminar focusing on cooperation in science and research, an area which our Czech government intensively supports.

This is the first visit by a Czech prime minister to the Republic of Korea in 14 long years, so I am very glad to see that the protracted absence of official visits by our prime ministers to Korea has not in any way diminished the very busy and continuously expanding cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea in the economic field and, especially, in foreign investments. Although our mutual bilateral diplomatic relations are hardly steeped in tradition, dating back a mere 25 years, Korea stands alongside the US and China as one of the Czech Republic’s three most significant trading partners outside Europe, and our trade cooperation, based on the principle of mutual benefit, is continuing to intensify.

I believe that there is further room for us to develop our cooperation in the fields of production, trade and investment. The Czech Republic attaches great importance to the interest shown by Korean investors, who have channelled almost USD 3 billion into the Czech Republic. To boost this cooperation, we are setting up an office of the CzechInvest agency in Seoul.

We see opportunities for more intensive cooperation in the energy sector, including the nuclear branch, where Korean and Czech companies would surely be able to pool their know-how and experience, as well as in transport and defence, also present among the Czech firms whose representatives have accompanied me. Czech enterprises and Korean partners have plenty of opportunity to generate synergy by working together on third markets.

Nor can we overlook the major potential offered by mutual business corporation in the field of design and the applied arts. In recent years, Czech firms have won many plaudits abroad in this area.

I would like to stress once more that the Czech Republic is interested not only in deepening mutual trade and investment, but also in cooperation encompassing science, research and innovation. We view the Republic of Korea as a world leader in basic and applied research and development. Our universities and research organisations, whose representatives are sitting here among us today, have advanced capacities and boast top-class scientific reputations. In the past few years, the Czech government has invested heavily in state-of-the-art equipment for our research institutions.

The Czech government has declared this strong line of approach in order to make the economy more competitive while tapping into all reasonable opportunities, and stands ready to endorse specific projects of mutual international cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To close, I would like to assure you that the Czech government aims and is prepared to nurture favourable conditions for your operations. What matters is that the business projects will be creative and that the products and related business partnerships will be competitive. I firmly believe that this economic forum will make a relevant contribution in this respect.

Considering the timing of our meeting today, I would like to wish you all the best of health and much success in the new lunar year into which the Asian region entered last week. I am keen for our mutual trade contacts to exhibit the characteristics of such a year – growth and endurance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for your cooperation, and I wish your specific business projects success.

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