29th June 2016

Conference Sources of Czech Competitiveness

On June 28, at the Senate, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament, representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic Michal Nebeský of Citibank, Michal Klimeš of Silicon Graphics, Ondřej Krajíček of Y Soft, Tomáš Kolár of Linet and Radim Passer of PasserInvest Group gave presentations about specific areas of competitiveness in the Czech Republic.

Their presentations are available below (in Czech).

Read also a coverage of the event by Radio Praha (in English). McKinsey partner Tomáš Víšek warned that the trend has been negative in education and labour costs are higher than in many other Central European countries that have made the transition from planned economies. Mr. Víšek also pointed out another factor that is not often citied, the lack of major cities in the Czech Republic. Half of the population of the Czech Republic lives in towns and villages of less than 10,000 people. And it’s a stark fact that most wealth creation in developed modern economies takes place in cities with populations of more than a million. There’s another factor as well, Czech banks are fairly conservative. In fact, they are around half as willing to lend money to business as their peers in Finland when the amounts being sought and security offered is taken into account. 

AmCham has set out some pointers for what it would like to be a 60 percent growth in Czech Growth Domestic Product by 2025. One of the factors is greater emphasis on jobs that add a lot more added value than some traditional low cost manufacturing. Another is a focus on city development plans for three of the biggest Czech cities, Prague, Brno, and Ostrava. Also, AmCham would like to see the Czech Republic turn the health sector and a large potential black hole in public finances into an area of opportunity given that the Czech health sector still operates fairly well and efficiently compared to the sectors in comparable Central European countries such as Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland and at much cheaper costs than in Western Europe. Mr. Nebeský, Pesident of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, General Manager of the Czech branch of Citibank: "We just believe there is opportunity because the global population started ageing even in global economies such as China, or will soon start ageing. And the ability of budgets to finance it will be quite a challenge. So innovation and R&D into this sector will be a big opportunity on a global scale and I think we have quite a good healthcare system in the Czech Republic which provides a natural competitive advantage to jumping on the train early on.” 

Presentations may be find below:

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic