16th December 2015

Euractiv.cz on Trade for All Strategy: Trade strategy should be focused on business, investment, social responsibility is an issue for companies to handle

Euractiv.cz article, reporting on the result of conference Trade for All Strategy: Gate to new markets?,  says EU's economic growth will be increasingly dependent on foreign investment and trade with third countries. In October 2015, the European Commission  a new trade and investment strategy that includes commitment to increase transparency of negotiations and add chapters on sustainable development and fight against corruption in future free trade agreements. Both the Czech Government / Ministry of Industry and Trade and the business sector welcome the new strategy.

Approximately 1 in 6 jobs in the Czech Republic depends on export to the EU, says Lucie Vondráčková, director of the Department of Trade Policy and International Economic Organizations, Ministry of Industry and Trade, adding that the new strategy will open new markets and eliminate barriers to trade, an important aspect for the export-oriented Czech economy. The business sector welcomes the strategy and its chapter on investment protection, for example, as more and more Czech businesses assume the role of investors, says Pavel Fára of the Czech Confederation of Industry and Trade. But there is too much emphasis placed on social responsibility, says Pavel Fára. "We believe that social responsibility is in hands of individual companies, on voluntary basis. The implementation of certain approach could lead to interference in entrepreneurship and increase administrative and reporting duties." Jaroslav Šulc of Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) said CMKOS appreciate the European Commission's effort to review the current model of EU's trade and investment policy and demand participation in further negotiations. 

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic