William Malcolm

Foreign Minister To Lead Trade Mission To Middle East, North Africa

Tomáš Petříček, Minister of Foreign Affairs, plans to lead a trade mission to the Middle East and North Africa by the end of 2020. It is also necessary to focus on European markets and countries such as France, Portugal, and Kosovo, the Minister said at the Czech Export Forum.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most foreign business missions planned for this year had to be postponed. Their preparations and implementation are expected in the autumn, Petříček said.

“I plan to travel with entrepreneurs to areas such as the Middle East and North Africa by the end of the year,” he said.

Attention must also be focused on European markets. Business missions could also occur in France, Portugal, Kosovo, Serbia, or northern European countries this year.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to maintain domestic companies’ position in foreign markets, help them gain new opportunities, and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the current crisis. It is also necessary to increase the presence of Czech companies in foreign markets, Petricek said.

The majority of Czech exporters trade with European Union countries. The share of exports to these countries last year was about 84 percent, increasing by three percent year-on-year to CZK 4.1 trillion. According to the chief economist of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marek Pyszko, exports to Asia also increased by three percent to approximately CZK 225 billion. Exports to America rose by 14 percent year on year to CZK 151 billion. Last year’s increase in exports to Africa and Oceania and the Arctic was six percent to CZK 12.8 billion.