Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Management System and Institutional Arrangement

 

One of the key prerequisites for building an effective economic diplomacy is to improve cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Within the framework of the defined competencies, both Ministries have common goals in the field of promoting economic activities and management of Commercial and Economic Sections.

Management system and institutional arrangement

One of the key prerequisites for building an effective economic diplomacy is to improve cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Within the framework of the defined competencies, both Ministries have common goals in the field of promoting economic activities and management of Commercial and Economic Sections.

Management system of state services abroad

 In order to improve the coordination of all units of the state abroad and to improve their management, the system of management of state services abroad in the field of promotion of exports, investments and trade policy will be further developed and simplified. The relevant project which due to the method of  Balance Score Card (BSC) provides managerial control, planning, reporting and evaluation of activities has been carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with CzechTrade, CzechInvest, Czech centers and CzechTourism agencies.

The system observes the principle of a single network abroad, vital coordination role of heads of missions in promoting economic interest abroad and management proficiency of commercial and economic sections.

Simultaneously, additional steps leading to higher efficiency of economic diplomacy have been realized. The project of gradual fusing of services provided abroad by CzechTrade and CzechInvest agencies will enable better coordination of services provided by the two agencies and will lead to savings of costs and higher effectiveness of marketing and promoting activities while  observing the already existing network of contacts and continutity of work.

Strategic Management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 Under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Strategic Management System, economic and public diplomacy represent one of the six basic strategic priorities (fields) of the Ministry´s activities and thus automatically of the Czech foreign policy. Economic and public diplomacy as a strategic priority (field) has the following objectives:

  • Effective export promotion policy
  • Communication strategy building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Czech Republic
  • Effective cooperation of state institutions
  • Conceptual presentation of the Czech Republic abroad

Institutional arrangement

A vital role in conducting economic diplomacy is played by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Their activities are defined by the Competences Act.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the central body of state administration in the field of foreign policy – it formulates the foreign policy concept and coordinates external economic relations. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is the central body of state administration for trade policy, foreign economic policy, foreign trade and export promotion.

As the key protagonists in the promotion of trade and economic interests, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade cooperate within the framework of operative agreements on cooperation between the two Ministries. Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade is coordinated by Permanent Working Group which meets at the deputy minister level of the two ministries.

In addition to the foreign affairs and industry and trade ministries, the Ministry for Regional Development, which is responsible for tourism and, within the EU framework,oversees the interests of local government bodies, also plays a role in building effective economic diplomacy. Tourism accounts for more than three percent of GDP and generates foreign exchange revenues exceeding CZK 100 billion per annum. The Ministry for Regional Development also plays a very important role in implementing the EU’s regional and structural policy, referred to as economic and social cohesion policy.  

The Ministry of Agriculture is the central body of state administration for agriculture and conducts marketing activities to promote Czech agricultural products.

The Ministry of the Environment monitors the environmental impact of economic processes. It promotes Czech know-how and technologies abroad through foreign development cooperation programmes, chiefly in less developed countries. Amongst its other services, the Ministry maintains the Database of Czech Environmental Technologies and Services (www.env.cz/Envibase).

In general terms, there is an international element in the work of every central body of state administration to a greater or lesser degree. Consequently, every such body is either a co-architect or user of economic diplomacy. An example of this is the Ministry of Culture, which promotes the Czech Republic abroad both itself and through cultural institutes.

In total, there are 102 economic diplomats in economic sections at the 82 embassies of the Czech Republic in foreign countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for embassies. Economic sections form an integral part of these embassies and their staff is subordinate to embassy heads. Expert management of economic sections falls within the competence of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Honorary Consulates of the Czech Republic

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs currently uses the services of 149 Honorary Consuls. This number has been gradually increased. The Ministry prepared a historically first meeting of all Honorary Consuls of the Czech Republic in Prague in 2008. One of the challenges that was emphasised at this meeting is the need for Honorary Consuls to be more involved in promoting the commercial and economic interests of the Czech Republic and they have been asked to play a greater role in organising events to support exports and promote the Czech Republic.

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