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Czech-British Business and Investment Seminar in London

Representatives of companies, three chambers of commerce and three state institutions participated in the "Czech Business Afternoon" in London for  the occasion of the Czech Chamber of Commerce mission led by its President, Mr Vladimír Dlouhý. In the course of the seminar, the business aspects of Brexit were discussed and business meetings were held during the subsequent garden reception.

Britain is the 4th to 5th largest export territory for companies from the Czech Republic, and for every working day of the year, goods and services from the Czech Republic travel to the United Kingdom in the value of 828 million Czech crowns. Preparing for the impact of Brexit and searching for possible new joint business projects was the subject of the business mission of the Czech Chamber of Commerce  to the UK, which was held with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic under the economic diplomacy projects framework on 6th - 7th June 2018.

A seminar on post-Brexit trade was held on 6 June at the Czech Embassy in London. The seminar was opened by Mr Libor Sečka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Kingdom, and the main speech was made by the President of the Czech the Chamber of Commerce, Mr Vladimír Dlouhý. In his speech, Mr Dlouhý focused on the excellent state of the Czech economy, the prospects for economic development and opportunities for business cooperation. The seminar continued with a panel of Czech and British speakers on the topic of opportunities and effects of Brexit from the sectoral viewpoint. The speakers were: Chris Barton, Director of Multilateral & EU Trade Negotiations, Department for International Trade; James Gee, Ernst & Young Executive Director for Financial and Legal Services; Ladislav Hornan, Chairman of the Czech-British Chamber of Commerce in London; Filip Franek, Head of Trade Team of the British Chamber of Commerce in Prague; Martin Partl, Business Development Director of CzechInvest; and Martin Macourek, Director of London CzechTrade Office. Aleš Opatrný, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Czech Embassy in London moderated the seminar. After the seminar, Vladimír Dlouhý also discussed with Adam Marshall, the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce how both parties could cooperate in promoting trade and investment between the UK and the Czech Republic.

The seminar was followed by individual negotiations between Czech and British companies and a networking garden party, jointly organised by the Embassy and the Czech-British Chamber of Commerce. Companies from the Czech Republic included Vítkovice Heavy Machinery, Cross Zlín (smart transport solutions), VKM Solutions (ventilated façade systems), mmcité 11 (design solutions for steel structures in public spaces, smart cities), Unicode Systems (card payment systems for petrol station networks), Bakeš & Partners, Becker & Poliakoff, Randa Havel Legal (law companies), Skrivanek (Translation and Interpreting Services), the Golf Club Hodkovičky and Spielberg Winery. The seminar, B2B meetings and networking garden party attracted 60 representatives of companies and alliances from the UK in the sectors of law, construction, architecture, engineering, finance and tourism among others.  

On 7th June, the mission continued in the form of individual company meetings. Members of the business delegation also visited the siting of mmcité 11's products in London - designer smart tech benches with USB connectivity. These have recently been installed in The City of London and have begun to serve the very heart of London's financial centre at the renowned high rise building, The Gherkin.

The United Kingdom has long been the 4th to 5th most important export territory for Czech companies in terms of volume of exported goods. In 2017, Czech exports to the UK reached CZK 207 billion (7 billion GBP), an increase of 330% since 2000 when it was only CZK 48 billion. In particular, the products of the automotive and engineering industries are exported, as well as a wide range of other Czech products, ranging from aircraft, engines, water turbines, Czech glass and lighting to food and beverage products, to Britain. Trade is a two way street and British firms have seen double digit export growth to the Czech Republic in the last two years. British firms have also been among the main investors in the Czech economy. Interestingly, besides the trade with the UK, Czech investors have taken advantage of Britain's growth potential with investments in the energy, real estate and financial services sectors among others.

Aleš Opatrný, Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Czech Embassy in London


Czech Business Afternoon 2018