Business and industry representatives from the Czech Republic and India recently called for greater economic cooperation between the two nations that would result in an expansion of business ties in an array of industries from IT to logistics to manufacturing.
Addressing an Interactive session along with B2B meetings with the business delegation from the Czech Republic, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) in Delhi, Tomáš Petříček, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, traced the traditional ties between the two nations and said that the Czech Republic wanted to become a strategic partner of India and work jointly for its economic development.
Petricek, who led a business delegation comprising representatives from defence, aviation, shipments, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, real estate, and automobiles, said both the countries shared common values of democracy and believed commonly on issues like climate change. “We are looking for new opportunities and partnerships, the visiting dignitary said. He hoped that trade, investment, and business relations would grow in the future,” he added.
Martina Tabuerova, Deputy Minister, Industry and Trade, Czech Republic, said that trade between the two nations was growing over the years, and at present, was valued at $ 1.5 billion.
There are many Czech companies already engaged in India, she said and cited the example of Skoda in the automobiles sector. Skoda was selling 70,000 cars in the Indian market, the Czech minister said.
Earlier, welcoming the foreign business delegation, Dr D K Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber, had said that the scope for mutual collaboration between the two countries was immense and poised to expand on the strength of the changing economic environment in the country today.
Relaxation of FDI norms and the dynamic policies of the government would enable the two sides to expand business cooperation, said Dr Aggarwal. A focused and sector-specific approach can help India and the Czech business ventures establish joint ventures and technology transfers.
India will be investing USD 1.4 trillion in infrastructure projects over the next five years, and it would give a significant push to the Indian economy, Dr Aggarwal said. He said that the slowdown was a temporary phase, and economic revival was around the corner.
India was poised and on course to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030 and eventually a USD 20 trillion by 2050. Now this is the time to get into India, D K Aggarwal said inviting the Czech companies to look at the country as an investment destination. PHD Chamber will offer every help possible to the Czech investors, promised Dr Aggarwal.
The Czech companies are emerging as significant investors in the energy and finance sector; they are also bidding for infrastructural and industrial projects in India, Dr Aggarwal noted.
The thriving sectors of bilateral cooperation are engineering, especially in auto parts, spares, textile machinery, machine tools, information technology, medical equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and nanotechnology, science, and technology, which offer opportunities for the flow of trade and investment, said Dr Aggarwal.
India and the Czech Republic have had a long history of bilateral relations. The economic partnership between India and the Czech Republic grew to USD 688 million in 2018-19.
Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber, Radek Spicar, Vice President, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, Purushottam Bhaggeria, Chairman, International Affairs Committee for Europe & CIS, PHD Chamber and Vikram Gera, Co-Chair, International Affairs Committee for Europe & CIS, PHD Chamber, were present on the dais.