Mr Bauer, could you briefly tell our readers
what the Czech-German Chamber of
Commerce and Industry does? Germany is
the biggest export territory for the Czech
Republic. What is the secret behind the
mutual benefit of our cooperation?
It is no secret that Czechia, as well as
Germany, are very industrially successful
countries. Among all the European countries,
Czechia’s economic structure is most similar
to Germany’s. If we then take into account
our shared cultural history and geographical
proximity, we can see that the prerequisites
for a successful partnership are already in
place. One third of Czechia’s exports go to
Germany and German businesses know that
they can expect quality and reliability from
our products, meaning that we have been
able to build trust between our two countries,
and trust is possibly the most important part
of business. It is also important to point out
that our mutual trade is important for both
countries. Czechia is Germany’s tenth most
important business partner globally, ranking
above even countries like Spain and Russia.
We, as the Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, offer Czech and German companies
a vast network of contacts and services as well
as a representative body for communication
with politicians and the general public. We
conduct research to identify areas of CzechGerman trade that have room to grow and
make sure that companies can stay dedicated
to their business rather than be drowned in
Are German investors and business
owners satisfied with the conditions
Czechia offers them for business? What
could we change or work on in order
to make these conditions even more
German investors greatly appreciate the
productivity of local employees as well as
the availability and quality of local suppliers.
What we still need to work on, nonetheless,
is a lack of employees; we are currently in
a deficit of hundreds of thousands, which
makes multiple big projects impossible. It
seems that even above-average pay, offered
by German employers, is not enough.
Another factor that needs improvement
is the digitisation of government
administration. Each year we conduct
a business cycle study where we ask
German investors which countries in central
and Eastern Europe are the most interesting
in terms of investment. The Czech Republic
held the top spot in these studies for years,
however, it was recently beaten out by
Estonia, with their more advanced levels of
Do company representatives and
members of your chamber consider
Czechia, or even the Moravian-Silesian
Region, as a lucrative location for
Definitely. That is why there are so many of
them. This is best illustrated with specific
examples, like the globally successful
company Brose in Kopřivnice. When
a company of such a caliber chooses
a region as a base for their development, it
means that it views the area to have great
potential. Another example, Siemens,
one of the largest investors in Czechia,
opened an R&D centre in Ostrava to
develop electric motors and solutions for
Industry 4.0. This is a strategic investment
with global reach.
German investors also supported
a practically oriented pilot project in dual
education in the Moravian-Silesian Region,
and Brose was one of the parties involved
in it. I already mentioned the big issue of
Czechia’s lack of qualified employees.
If the Moravian-Silesian Region were
to implement the programme of dual
education, the region would have a great
advantage over the rest of the country
within only a couple of years.
Currently, there are many German
investments in the Czech Republic that
drastically help the development of
automation, robotisation and digitisation.
What is your personal view on Industry
4.0 and digitisation? What are your hopes
for the future of the cooperation between
Czechia and Germany?
With all due respect, it was our chamber that
got the ball rolling on Industry 4.0 for the
Czech Republic back in 2015. Over the past
roughly seven years we have come a long
way, and it comes as no surprise because,
in order to keep up with global competition,
countries need to adapt their economies to
global trends, be it digital interconnection
or, for example, sustainable technologies.
These are fields that have a high probability
of increasing the value of domestic industry.
My main hope for the future is the
continuation of our close partnership.
A mutual exchange of experience will
definitely be necessary as the MoravianSilesian Region is undergoing the shift
away from the coal mining and heavy
industries into cutting-edge industrial
models. Germany also still has to face
some of these similar changes, therefore it
will be beneficial for both our countries to
work together to develop new sustainable
production processes and business models.
We, as the Czech-German Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, will be heavily
supporting these efforts.
Mr Bauer, thank you for the interview.
Text: Ing. Radúz Mácha
Foto: archiv ČNOPK
POSITIV 4/2021 ǀ 49