Foreign investment contributes to economic growth in the Czech Republic

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-05-29   16:55

Foreign investments contribute to the economic growth of the Czech Republic. OECD report includes recommendations for small and medium-sized enterprises

The importance of foreign investment and human capital for the future prosperity of the Czech economy. These were the main topics of the first edition of the Czech Investment Forum with the subtitle Invest in People, which took place on 28 May at Cafe Louvre in Prague. The event was organised by CzechInvest in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which presented its own research on the impact of foreign investment on the productivity and innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Czech Republic.

"Foreign investment strengthens our economy, brings new jobs and increases Czech competitiveness. We can attract them not only by our strategic location and skilled workforce, but also by following current trends, looking for new opportunities and building an effective investment environment," says Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela, adding: "That is why I appreciate the OECD's list of recommendations, which emphasise the promotion of innovation, technological development and ensuring a stable business environment. I believe that the first edition of the Czech Investment Forum, where we discussed this report directly with business representatives, will help us with further development."

The first edition of the Czech Investment Forum, which has the ambition to become a key event in promoting the investment environment in the Czech Republic, welcomed more than a hundred participants from government representatives, companies, investors, regions and domestic and international experts. They participated in two panel discussions focused on promoting innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises and the importance of a skilled workforce. The focal point of the afternoon programme was the presentation of the OECD report, which was presented by its representatives and focused on the overlap and importance of foreign investment for the further development of Czech competitiveness. Especially with regard to the regions themselves and the further development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

"The main objective of the CzechInvest agency is to actively support projects that develop the investment climate in the country and innovate the industry. In addition, we try to connect companies and institutions to work together to improve the quality of jobs and create a favourable environment. It is essential that we talk about these issues and pay attention to them, because human capital is the foundation of any economy. In today's rapidly changing world, it is essential that our people have access to the best possible educational and professional opportunities. Only in this way can we ensure that the Czech Republic will continue to prosper and remain an attractive place for investment," said Jan Michal, Director General of CzechInvest.

"The Czech Republic's success in attracting foreign investment in recent decades has contributed significantly to economic development and productivity growth. The OECD report provides a comprehensive analysis and practical recommendations on how to build on this success and ensure that the benefits of foreign investment are used by local SMEs to promote innovation and sustainable growth," said Ana Novik, Head of the OECD Investment Division.

OECD representatives introduced the first panel, Unlocking Czech Innovative Potential, by presenting the findings of their study summarising the links between FDI and SMEs. The OECD describes the current situation where the Czech Republic has experienced strong economic growth since the 1990s, benefiting from its strategic location, strong industrial base and competitive labour costs. The report also includes recommendations for improvement in a number of areas. These include, for example, the need to improve institutional cooperation to better link foreign investment and local SMEs to increase innovation and productivity. Furthermore, to improve the possibility for enterprises to engage in higher value-added activities as suppliers and partners of foreign multinationals.

"SMEs are key to the innovation and growth potential of the Czech economy and to attracting quality foreign direct investment into the country. Yet Czech SMEs face challenges in scaling up and integrating high value-added activities, with labour productivity lagging behind the EU average. The actionable recommendations in the new OECD report can help Czech SMEs improve their capabilities to become successful suppliers and partners to foreign multinationals," said Lucia Cusmano, Deputy Head of the OECD's Division for SMEs and Entrepreneurship.

The event also included a panel entitled "Talent, the Key", which highlighted what the Czech Republic can learn from foreign partners and how it can better present opportunities for those who would like to develop their talent in a Czech company. The discussion also focused on STEM education and motivating high school students to choose technical fields for their further studies and careers. The discussion was also attended by Shalini Sharma from Business Finland, who presented the Work in Finland platform aimed at attracting and retaining talent. This was followed by representatives of CzechInvest who presented a brand new website called Work in Czechia, which aims to attract new talent to the Czech Republic.

Source: Czech Invest, OECD and CTK

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