The British economy is second only to Germany in Europe, and ranks fifth globally. Great Britain is among the top countries in innovation as well. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, which annually ranks the most innovative countries around the world, Britain ranks fourth in their latest edition of the bracket, right behind Switzerland, the USA and Sweden.
For Czechia, Great Britain is an important business partner. Last year, the UK was Czechia’s 7th largest export market and 16th in regards to import. While in 2020, both export and import between Czechia and the UK declined, last year, this trend was once again reversed and is now on the upswing. As far as direct foreign investment, Great Britain ranks as our 11th most significant investor. Since 1990, British companies have invested over 70 billion Czech crowns into the Czech market. Overall, there are around 300 British companies operating here, employing up to 65 thousand people. These companies operate mostly in shared services, IT and software development, the automotive industry and high-tech engineering. Some of the most well-known British companies in our market are international giants such as Tesco, Vodafone, Marks & Spencer or HSBC. The UK also has a presence in the Moravian-Silesian region. In addition to the aforementioned corporations, smaller British companies conduct business here as well. These include Vesuvius, dealing in refractory metallurgical ceramics, Pickering Interfaces, which designs, develops and manufactures switching systems and accessories like cables and connectors, or the logistics company NNR Global Logistics, operating out of the airport in Mošnov. These companies cover a wide range of fields, from manufacturing to development and services, and can therefore draw from the benefits our region can offer them. These benefits include a strategic location in the heart of Europe, a qualified workforce, and a dynamic technological environment for internationally successful projects.
Innovative Czech companies also prosper on the British market, most of which operate in the field of information technologies. As far as Czech direct foreign investment is concerned, Great Britain ranks 6th, with a 6.5% share. By far the biggest success story of a Czech company in the British market is not an IT firm, however, but a small business based in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm, producing electrical baking trays. The company is Remoska, which has been in the British market since 2001, and managed to build a great reputation for Czechia in the UK. Since entering the market, they have sold over 175 thousand Remoska products, and the current king of England, Charles III., received one for his 60th birthday.
Even though it may seem that Britain leaving the EU might have endangered their relations with the Czech Republic, this island country remains an important business partner for us.