BUSINESS the euro in the Czech Republic would make me happy. As a consumer and citizen of the Czech Republic I would like the rate of a Czech crown to the euro be as positive as possible, let me say 1:20, to make products in other countries of the EU cheaper for us, and to reduce the economic advantage between our country and the EU leaders. I am sitting on a fence.
How do you feel about the business environment in our region, and what would you like to change? It is generally quite good, not interfering with enterprise too much. I do not prefer granted and highly organized businesses when the managers do not care as much about their business as about grant applications and garnering support of some kind or other. If entrepreneurs work with the idea that their success is exclusively their own responsibility, they have a good plan and know who their customers are, then it does not matter if they work in the district of Ostrava, or elsewhere. The role of the government of the region is to develop and enhance the infrastructure, connectivity by all means of transport (unlike the unfortunate recent closing of the Prague – Ostrava air connection), and the improvement of education and vocational training. The problem which most businesspeople in the Czech Republic face is the lengthy construction planning and permits, a disastrous motorway network, and slow justice. I want to mention inefficient and expensive public administration which is closely related to high taxation and charges paid by freelancers as well as companies. You are very busy in innovation and exports. How important is the introduction of the euro to the Czech Republic? I feel a bit schizophrenic about the Euro. I know the exchange rate is a great tool to tip the balance on the level of macroeconomy. On the other hand, as a CEO in international trade, a stable exchange rate is a guarantee of a positive business development and safe pricing; so
You are a professional in marketing, a member of the Czech Marketing Society (Česká marketingová společnost), and you also operate in tourism. How do you like the marketing of the region? Every time I am in Prague, I wonder how to get the great crowds of tourists to the Moravian-Silesian Region, to Štramberk in particular. The truth is that tourists see Prague as the most attractive centre, and maybe some would go out to see Karlštejn and Český Krumlov. It is a challenge that requires the close cooperation of state organizations and the motivation of Czech travel agencies focused on incoming: they just need to list many more destinations in their catalogues, the picturesque Štramberk including. The Government of the Moravian Silesian Region should be a moderator of the strategy. However, besides our traditional majority of guests from the Czech Republic, I also see a boom in individual tourism which is bringing a number of tourists from all over Europe to our hotel. The Moravian-Silesian Region and its governor Mr Vondrák are seen and heard very well; it is very beneficial as it supports the attractivities of Ostrava and places of interest nearby, including Štramberk. Their efforts go hand in hand with the regional club of Czech Marketing Society (Česká marketingová společnost) in Ostrava, of which I am the chairman. Its role is to facilitate a communication platform for managers, marketers and entrepreneurs of our region. Are your companies socially responsible? As their owner I keep an eye on how the companies behave in regards to their environment. We are an active, cooperating partner to all councils in municipalities where the plants are situated; and to local interest and sports organizations. ISMM is the general partner of the extra league handball club KH ISMM Kopřivnice, and the general partner of the football club TJ ISMM Jistebník. Generally, our programme covers a wide range of sports, cultural, and leisure events. I see social responsibility as the relation of the company owner to employees, based on trust, fairness, and various motivational programmes. This is what contributes to the very low turnover within ISMM group, as many employees share the visions of the company owner. Which destination in the region would you recommend our readers to see? The Moravian-Silesian Region itself is an attractive destination. The Lower Area of Vítkovice (Dolní oblast Vítkovice), the Landek Mining Museum, our castles Štramberk and Hukvaldy. The centre of Ostrava feels very harmonic and is in fact quite an attraction. Compared to its past look, modern Ostrava is a green city with kilometres of bikeways and hiking trails. I love my region. Thank you for the interview. - editorial -
Text: redakce Foto: archiv ISMM Production & Business Cooperation s.r.o. www.ismm.cz
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