Press Advisories

24. 9. 201911:08

Prime Minister begins visit of USA, presents government innovation strategy and meets with representatives of five Czech start-up firms

On Monday 23 September, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš began his weeklong work programme on his visit to the USA by participating in the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Summit in New York. He also delivered a speech at the Concordia Summit, in which he presented the Czech Republic’s innovation strategy and he visited aspiring Czech businessmen in CzechAccelerator.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres convened the UN Climate Summit in New York. Along with Prime Minister Babiš, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček, and Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec also attended the ceremony.

In this regard, the Prime Minister, who represented President Miloš Zeman at the Climate Summit, reminded the audience that the Czech Republic is one of the few countries to fulfil the obligations ensuing from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. “We established the National Coalition for the fight against drought, we are taking all the measures to keep water in the countryside and we are fulfilling our commitment to plant trees, which I think is perhaps the most crucial. It is important for us to say how the individual states fulfil the commitments from the Paris Agreement from 2015, in which 185 countries undertook to fight against climate change, and very few of them have any results,” recalled Prime Minister Babiš. “We clearly stated that we would lower emissions by eighty per cent by 2050. The government approved it; we have done the calculations, so we have a completely clear plan. But it is important for other countries to follow with commitments, especially those outside of Europe, because Europe only has nine per cent of the emissions,” remarked Andrej Babiš.

Following the opening ceremony of the Climate Summit, the Prime Minister spoke at the Concordia Summit, the theme of which was new technology as a way to resolve global problems. The Prime Minister introduced the present guests to the new government strategy, Czech Republic: The Country for the Future, which the government prepared and approved. “We want to be an innovative leader of Europe and our vision is to build a smart economy, where we will use the close connection of science and research to industry. The Czech Republic has a clear plan, wonderful people and the required money,” he stated. You can find the entire speech at /en/clenove-vlady/premier/speeches/leading-by-example-the-czech-republics-national-innovation-strategy-176305/.

Together with Deputy Prime Minister Havlíček and accompanied by CzechInvest representative Jan Chmelík, he then visited New York’s CzechAccelerator, which is a project of CzechInvest financed from European funds for the support of Czech technological start-up companies. Here, Czech technological start-ups have the opportunity to gather experience and contacts over three months in a renowned New York accelerator. The Czech delegation had the opportunity to meet with representatives of five Czech start-ups that are currently making use of this opportunity: Pikto Digital, ProRocketeers with its application Woodr, Protoprint, Sentt Labs with its application Brigr and YMC. In this manner, the Ministry of Industry and trade has already supported 37 Czech start-ups that want to break through to the American market.

You can also find more information in the press releases from the Ministry of Industry and Trade  and from CzechInvest.

The Prime Minister also met with the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith. “Deputy Prime Minister Havlíček and I talked about the Czech Republic’s strategy, our effort to acquire the European Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence. We offered Microsoft cooperation. The great news is that they want to do it and also share their further experience with us, for example from their projects in health care, in which I am very interested,” stated Prime Minister Babiš. The President of Microsoft also appreciated the Czech government’s innovation strategy and the plan to build a smart infrastructure.

At the end of the first day in New York, Prime Minister Babiš, Deputy Prime Minister Havlíček and Minister of the Environment Brabec took part in a dinner with potential investors that was organised by the American Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic. The guests included representatives of important American businesses.

On Tuesday 24 September, Prime Minister Babiš will participate in the opening of the 74th session of the General Assembly of the UN and the start of the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development held under the auspices of the UN Special Council (the SDG Summit), he will visit Cornell Tech University and he has several bilateral meetings on the programme.