Czech Prime Minister's visit to India

Milos Zeman

Prime Minister Milos Zeman is continuing a five-day official visit to India, with a program focused on trade and business relations between the two countries. Olga Szantova reports.

Milos Zeman
During his visit, Premier Zeman has so far visited a number of factories and enterprises with Czech contacts, including the Tatra plant in Hosuru. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ales Pospisil explains what makes this factory so special.

"This is something we can be proud of - we have one, so far the only one, Czech-Indian joint venture, which is between Tatra and Odyog in the town of Honsuru, 50 kilometers South of Bengalore. This was established in 1997 to produce large vehicles for the civil sector."

The factory in Hosuru may have the closest links with the Czech Republic, but, according to Mr. Pospisil, it certainly isn't the only enterprise that has connections with Czech industry.

Let me mention another important project which was launched in the year 2000, when Skoda Auto started to build its assembly hall for Skoda Octavia and this is a project, an assembly hall built in the city of Ouran - Gabat.

Czech - Indian trade and industry relations have a long-standing tradition. Josef Hendrych of the Czech Trade Government Agency is in charge of exports to East Asian countries, including India.

India is traditionally one of the largest and most important trade partners for Czech firms. The roots of Indo-Czech economic and commercial cooperation date right back to the period between the two world wars - the contacts made between Czechoslovakia and the Indian Republic attained great intensity after India gained its independence in 1947.

And Czech companies have built many industrial plants in India, such as a factory producing motorcycles, a power station, a rolling mill, etc.- the list is a long one. Czech-made engineering products are well known in India, as are Czech textiles, leather goods, and, of course, glass. Czech exports to India amounted to 78 million US dollars last year, while imports were 3 million less than that. Addressing the All-Indian Industry Association in Bombay, Premier Zeman stressed that there still is much room for increasing mutual trade and investments. One of the possible projects under discussion during his visit are Indian investments in the Czech Zetor tractor factory, which is looking for a strategic partner.

Author: Olga Szantová
run audio