Press Advisories

28. 6. 2017 21:49

The Czech Republic is an attractive location for Japanese investments

During the second day of the official visit of the Czech delegation to Japan, Minister of Industry and Trade, Jiří Havlíček, and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka attended a meeting with representatives of JETRO, a Japanese government agency for trading and investment support, as well as the opening of the Czech-Japanese business and investment forum. At a subsequent press conference, Minister Jiří Havlíček informed the Japanese media about the situation in the sectors of the Czech economy and industry and the trends that are attractive to Japanese investors in the Czech Republic. The delegation was accompanied by Karel Kučera, the CEO of CzechInvest Agency.

This morning, Minister Havlíček, the prime minister and other members of the Czech delegation met Hiroyuki Ishige, the president of JETRO, a Japanese government agency for trade and investment support. Jiří Havlíček then participated in the opening of the Czech-Japanese business and investment forum, which took place at JETRO headquarters and was co-organised by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"The aim of today's business and investment seminar in Tokyo was to strengthen the business relations and investment opportunities between the Czech Republic and Japan. Japan is a key partner for our country in the Asian region. The investment of 250 Japanese companies in our country amounts to USD 3.7 billion. Japan is therefore the second largest foreign investor in the Czech Republic. There are 47,000 people employed in Japanese companies in our country. Investments most often go to the promising sectors of the car industry, electronics and engineering, but also to brewing; that is, to industries that at the same time have a long tradition in our country. We strive to develop cooperation in specific areas, especially in the fields of aviation, the defence industry, mechanical and power engineering, IT and health care,” said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

The press conference was preceded by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the alliance of Society 4.0 and the Japanese Robot Revolution Initiative (RRI). The Minister then gave information on the situation in the sectors of the Czech economy and industry and on the trends that are attractive to Japanese investors in the Czech Republic. These are, in particular, the automotive and related industries, such as electronics and engineering.

"The Czech automotive industry is on the threshold of significant change. For the past two years, the Czech government has been increasingly focusing on taking into account the current dynamic technological development, especially from a strategic point of view. Newly emerging trends have impacts on all sectors, not just the automotive industry. Changes also affect ICT, electronics and electrical engineering, and indirectly power engineering and nanotechnologies. That is why we try to encourage potential investors from these and related industries," said Minister Jiří Havlíček at the press conference.

The minister also introduced a government-approved National Action Plan for Clean Mobility, which set the target for the Czech Republic to increase the share of cars driven by alternative energy resources to 10% by 2030. Deposits of the strategic hi-tech element lithium in the Czech Republic are also, among other matters, significant for the development of clean mobility. Karel Kučera, the CEO of CzechInvest, spoke of the possibilities of its intended use. The agency is already negotiating with a number of potential investors from all areas of technology trends behind the automotive industry changes, whether these are lithium-ion batteries, their key components and suitable wiring, self-steering cars or fuel savings.

Important issues in the debate also included discussions on technological changes, referred to as Industry 4.0.

"The massive digitisation of the economy and the on-going technological changes represent a vital existential challenge for both Japan and the Czech Republic. If we want to succeed globally, we must not only take these changes into consideration, but we must participate in their formation and look for opportunities for the necessary innovation in all areas,“ added Jiří Havlíček.

The agenda of Minister Havlíček for today included talks with Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Masaki Ogushi. The main topics discussed were the trade and economic relations between the two countries, a free trade agreement being prepared between the European Union and Japan and the current state of nuclear power engineering in the Czech Republic.

Together with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and other members of the delegation, Minister Jiří Havlíček met representatives of Asahi Brewery, which this year took over several European breweries including Pilsner Urquell.

The trip of the Czech delegation will continue on Thursday with a visit to Kyoto and a Friday programme in Hiroshima, from where it will return to Prague.

Source: Ministry of Industry and Trade


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