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Supporting the health sector and the economic diplomacy network in Australia

Australia's position in the context of activities to support the diversification of Czech exports is gaining importance. This important topic was also the main topic of the visit of Marek Svoboda, Director of the Department of Economic Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, accompanied by Petr Foit, Commercial Director of LINET s.r.o. and Vice President of the Association of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Medical Devices of the Czech Republic/AVDZP. The delegation stayed in Sydney and Canberra from 18 March to 20 March 2023.

In Sydney, a meeting was held with Consul General Zuzana Slováková and Petr Balcárek, who is implementing the PROPEA project to support economic activities abroad in Australia with ADUCID Sydney. The issues of synergy between PROPEA and the CzechTrade foreign office in building a support network for Czech companies were also discussed.

In Canberra, a meeting of the Czech delegation with Luke Gosling, Member of the Australian Parliament and Chairman of the Friends of the Czech Republic Group in the Parliament, took place in the presence of Ambassador Tomáš Dub. Further opportunities for bilateral cooperation with an emphasis on the health sector, including cooperation in third markets, were considered. Concretization of the cooperation between the AVDZP and a large Australian company providing healthcare services took place during a working lunch. In the afternoon, the Czech delegation visited the Canberra Innovation Network, a non-profit organisation that supports start-ups and innovative companies. Several Czech companies are interested in establishing cooperation with this institution in the security sector. The director of the organisation, Petr Adámek, also presented opportunities for Czech entities to start their activities in Canberra.

The last item on the agenda in Canberra was a meeting between Ambassador Tomáš Dub and the Czech delegation and representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Director of the Trade with Europe Section, Ms Rowena Thomson, and three of her colleagues presented the country's approach to trade cooperation in Asia, including its largest trading partner, the process of trade diversification, the progress of the EU-Australia FTA negotiations, as well as the country's activities in the WTO and OECD and the instruments for achieving coherence. Marek Svoboda presented the Czech approach to the issue and the interest in multilateral solutions. At the same time, he presented the Czech activities in the field of development cooperation in Africa and the Czech response to the changed conditions in the current geopolitical situation in Europe. Finally, he presented materials on Czech activities in support of Ukraine in various sectors of the economy.

Milan Vágner, Economic Diplomat, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Canberra