12th May 2017

Radio Praha: Wine, cars and machine tools. Moldova seeks stepped up Czech cooperation to develop economy

The pro-European Moldovan prime minister Pavel Filip and Minister for Regional Development Vasile Bitca were in Prague Tuesday for a meeting with Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Minister of Industry and Trade Jiří Havlíček. The flagship event was a Czech-Moldovan business forum with presentations and around 65 Czech companies expected to take up the invite to look at what the country of 3.5 million people has to offer. The Czech prime minister already visited Moldova around a year ago with a similar business agenda prepared, Radio Praha's Chris Johnstone writes.

From the background material, there is little room to doubt that Moldova would like to court Czech auto and auto supply companies to set up subsidiaries there or outsource some of their production there. A pamphlet in English ‘Automotive Components and Industry Overview’ sets out why those arguments should be taken seriously, not least average Moldovan wages of around 235 euros a month, around a quarter of the wages in the Czech Republic.

And it’s an auto sector which has almost doubled the volume of its turnover and number of employees, now totalling just over 9,000, in the last four years. Some Moldovan companies are already supplying components to Czech car producers, with one significant supplier the local subsidiary of the US-based company Lear Corporation supplying the TPCA joint venture Czech car plant near Kolin, east Bohemia. The general argument is that Moldova could supply the labour intensive work which Czech companies now have 

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic