english  česky 

Advanced search
Article notification Print Decrease font size Increase font size

Protocolar visit of Consul General Ivan Pocuch in Alberta

On November 26-28, 2019 Consul General Ivan Pocuch alongside with David Müller, economic diplomat, and Honorary Consul General/Director of the foreign office of CzechTrade in Calgary Mr. Jaroslav Jelinek, carried out a protocolar visit to the province of Alberta. A series of meetings and roundtables widened opportunities for further direct cooperation with the province in the areas of science and research, trade, culture, education and cooperation between universities. Meetings with local compatriot organizations only confirmed their interest in and the viability of maintaining Czech cultural heritage in western Canada.

The first day of talks in the provincial capital Edmonton was opened by a trade roundtable organized by Alberta government protocol with the attendance of representatives of five different economic departments and four representatives of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade. The roundtable was followed by a meeting with the Honorable Nathan Cooper, the Speaker of Legislative Assembly of Alberta, who expressed his belief about an interest of the Alberta government in focusing more on the development of foreign relations.

The next roundtable organized by the protocol took the form of a luncheon to which, apart from the members of Czech compatriot organizations, representatives of universities  (University of Alberta, Concordia University, Wirth Institute University of Alberta) as well as BioAlberta – Association of Life Sciences Industry were also invited.  Opportunities for strengthening cooperation among universities, both in the area of student exchanges and the field of research and development were discussed.  Concordia University is a good example; the university has just recently established cooperation with the University of South Bohemia.

Meeting with the Speaker N. Cooper

The theme of education was  continued in a meeting with the Minister for Advanced Education, Demetrios Nicolaides, to whom the Consul General presented a letter from the deputy minister of the Czech Republic Ministry of Youth Education and Sports, Dana Prudikova to deputy minister R. Skur (Alberta) in the matter of cooperation between the  Czech Ministry of Youth Education and Sports and the province of Alberta. Cooperation in the area of research and universities was discussed at the subsequent meeting with University of Alberta professor and the director of Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, Joseph Patrouch, where Czech doctoral research fellow Marketa Jakesova was present among others. J. Patrouch expressed interest in strengthening the Czech element in the Institute’s focus on Central Europe.

The discussion was returned to the topic of International Trade at the meeting with The Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Devin Dreeshan who introduced his government plan to attract investors to Alberta agriculture while he also expressed his belief in the necessity to diversify export. He also indicated interest in biotechnologies in which Alberta invests considerable resources.

The first day of the visit was concluded by a meeting with representatives of the University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering, a Czech compatriot Petr Musilek, and the regional manager Alexander Kuznetsov. The topics of discussion were opportunities of cooperation with Czech universities following the economic diplomacy project focused on artificial intelligence that took place in 2018 as well as within the framework of inter-university collaboration. In addition, prospects of developing relations in research and development in the private sector under the terms of the DELTA TACR program were discussed.

Meeting with MLA R. Gottfried

In the latter part of the visit an extensive discussion with the president of the German Canadian Centre for Research and Innovation, Bernd Reuscher who among other things is responsible for implementation and administration on some of the programs aimed at supporting research and development, including cooperation with the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and its project DELTA. Both parties agreed to maintaining and concentrating on ways of further strengthening the established cooperation.

At the following meeting, the Consul General met with the former shadow minister of economy and trade, a Conservative party MP Richard Gotfried, with whom he held discussions about the course the new Alberta government is heading. MP Gottfried offered his personal support in the topics of discussion.

In the evening, the Consul General took part in a meeting with the local Czech compatriots who are members of the local Edmonton compatriot organizations (Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, Czech & Slovak Association of Canada). He acknowledged the local Czech community and its activity in Edmonton (given its size, it is one of the most active ones) which is largely to the credit of the penultimate president of the CSAS, professor Pavel Jelen and his successor, professor Pavel Musilek.

Dinner with Czech compatriots in Edmonton