Milan Peprník, Minister-Counsellor, Head of the Economic and Commercial Section, Embassy of the Czech Republic: Romania remains an ideal economic partner for Czech companies and investors

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As every year, the celebration of the Czechoslovak Independence Day, gives us the opportunity to take a snapshot of the bilateral commercial cooperation which is a part of the broader and complex relations between the Czech Republic and Romania.

Romania is a very important partner for the Czech Republic. We have a long history of successful and dynamic economic cooperation, mainly since the moment our countries became the members of European Union. Our bilateral relations are very intensive not only in the economic sphere.

Economically, there is a very positive trend in the bilateral relationships thanks to the presence of more than 900 Czech companies in Romania and also the rising volume of trade between our countries. Our bilateral trade turnover achieved a record value, nearly 3,6 billion EUR. From my point of view, positive advantage in our mutual cooperation is the general knowledge of Romanians about the Czech Republic, or the quality of Czech products such as Škoda, Zetor, Bohemia glass, Czech beer or herbal liquer Becherovka.

The Czech Republic ranks also in the top foreign investors in Romania with invested capital over 1,5 billion EUR. The biggest Czech investment in Romania is represented by the energetical company ČEZ, which has always been a good example of a responsible Czech investor in Romania. Among the other recent investors we can mention S-Group holding, Penta, RC Reinvest, Renomia, Alef, PPF and many others.

The economy in Romania is continuously developing in a very positive way and it is strengthening the trust of Czech investors. Going into the details, Romania is a country for short term and long term investments, with well-educated workforce at competitive wages with excellent language proficiency, technical skills, strategic location, abundant natural resources, good work ethics, favourable business climate, attractive taxes and liberal labor code. Romania boasts many business opportunities especially in the automotive, energy and agro-food industry, IT&C and other creative industries and moreover when it comes to SMEs, a sector with the potential of becoming a seed of economic revival, essential for Romania´s development. In general, Czech business community appreciates Romania as a large internal market and favorable geographical location as the gateway to the entire region of Balkans, Turkey, Asia, and North Africa.

The potential for developing economic and trade relations between our countries presents a wide spectrum of interests. Czech companies are operating in a variety of local sectors and in general, they can also offer services and experience in infrastructure, public transport, in the field of sewage water and water treatment, agriculture, renewable energy, retail, food, pharmaceutical industry, health sector, etc.

Recent positive development in our bilateral trade relations was reached together with the help of CzechTrade office in Bucharest and thanks to the Czech-Romanian Bilateral Chamber of Commerce and Industry, found in 2007 and celebrating ten years of its existence this year.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bucharest besides the excellent longterm cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, is also promoting its activities with the Czech Centre Bucharest, Honorary General Consulate in Timisoara, clusters, industrial parks, and large number of other Romanian institutions.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Romania welcomes every Romanian who is interested to get into the economic cooperation in the trade or investment activities. Czech-Romanian partnership has still a lot of potential for even closer relations as strategic bilateral economic partners within the European Union.