The largest economy in the world is also significantly represented in our region. Dozens of companies with an American presence operate here across a broad spectrum of activities, from the traditionally strong IT and automotive sectors to engineering, logistics and food processing.
In terms of non-European foreign direct investment, investments from the USA rank among the top three most important investors in the Czech Republic (together with Japan and South Korea). More than 45,000 jobs have been created in the Czech Republic as a result of US investment, making it a strategic partner for domestic companies as well, as the US is the largest non-European export market for them. The value of trade has increased by around 60% over the past decade and offers the potential for further growth.
The CzechInvest Agency, which promotes business and investment in the Czech Republic, also confirms the increased interest in the Czech Republic on the part of American investors. Last year, despite the coronavirus crisis, they recorded an increased interest in investments in the Czech Republic. In total, CzechInvest provided support to 53 projects worth CZK 25 billion. Most of the projects were directed to the Moravian-Silesian and South Moravian Regions. The positive news is that two thirds of the projects were from areas with high added value, i.e. technologically oriented or linked to research and development. In this respect, new investors came to us mainly from the United States and neighbouring Germany.
The emphasis on higher added value and support for science and research is also a common feature of American investment in our region. For example, Roper Engineering has spent more than CZK 120 million to transform a former Ostrava brownfield in Výstavní Street into its modern headquarters, which consists of premises for production, storage, offices and, most importantly, a development and testing laboratory. Here research and engineering activities are carried out in the field of laboratory equipment and instruments for testing liquids and solids. The company also cooperates closely with VSB - Technical University of Ostrava and therefore offers graduates the opportunity of professional training. The traditional area of American investment, IT, is also represented in Ostrava. Since 2019, almost 3000 m2 of modern office space in the Nová Karolina Park office building has been occupied by the telecommunications giant Verizon. They run a section focused on supporting enterprise solutions here, which means taking care of the technology that helps Verizon customers run their businesses. One of the largest U.S. employers in our region is Mondelez, which operates the most modern biscuit factory in Europe and employs 1,000 people in Opava. The company has invested more than CZK 4 billion in the construction of a new hall and modern technologies in recent years.
The list of US companies operating in our country could go on and on. What is important is that American companies bring their know-how to us and support bilateral trade, which is constantly growing despite the current difficult years, and both sides are getting the best out of their cooperation.