On the National Day of the Czech Republic I can proudly say that relations between my country and Romania have been steadily developing.
Twenty-three years ago, by signing the Agreement on Friendly Relations and Cooperation, the democratically elected representatives of the Czech Republic and Romania started a new era of the traditional alliance between our two nations. Since then, several other treaties have been signed and implemented, for example, in the fields of security, investment, agriculture, tourism, culture and education, legal and social affairs. We are close partners in both the EU and NATO, and also our economic and cultural links are very strong.
Extremely good are our bilateral relations at the political level, as demonstrated by the visits paid by the highest state representatives in October this year, namely the Speaker of the Senate of Romania Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu to Prague and the delegation of the Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court headed by its President Dr. Pavel Rychetský to Bucharest.
Czech companies feel welcome in Romania – over 900 of our companies operate in the country, and most of them proved to be good examples of responsible investors. However, there is still huge potential for more investment, if the conditions are right and the current investors are treated fairly, and there is also a lot of room to increase the volume of trade over the current 3.6 billion EUR. To achieve this goal, we organize business forums and round tables and for example just these days we are holding a seminar – “Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Romania” – with more than 80 participants. My personal wish is to significantly strengthen energy cooperation.
I am convinced that culture plays a vital role in building bridges between countries and their citizens. Therefore, we constantly support the activities of the Czech Centre in Bucharest, which has become not only an organizer of cultural events, but also a platform for meeting young people.
For Romanians, Czech culture is much in demand and we are happy to contribute – both the Embassy and above all the Czech Centre – to the ‘Made in CZ / Found in RO’ exhibition which takes place at the Bucharest National Theatre and displays objects of Czechoslovak and Czech origin for everyday use that were imported in contemporary Romania in the last 100 years. The exhibition is an example of the commercial relations between the two countries, but also an instrument gauging the popularity of Czechoslovak products in the East European region.
Despite the excellent relations between our countries, I think that the Czech Republic has a little bit deeper link with Romania than with some other countries for one simple reason. Although we are a relatively small country, we have a Czech community in Banat that has found its home in the territory of today´s Romania more than 200 years ago. Thanks to this community, Romanians are very much promoted in the Czech Republic and many Czech tourists have begun to travel to Romania.
When writing these lines, I realized that another thing is connecting us. Next year both our countries will celebrate the important anniversaries of their modern history – Czech Republic 100 years since the formation of the independent Czechoslovak state and Romania 100 years since the great unification.