Foreign Minister Petříček aiming to resume trade missions as soon as possible

Foto: khunaspix, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The coronavirus crisis will hit the global economy hard and the Czech Republic which is strongly dependent on export, fears repercussions from a drop in demand. At a seminar for exporters on Thursday, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said the government was aware of the need to intensify its efforts in helping Czech companies find a niche on foreign markets and he himself planned to resume foreign trips with business representatives as soon as the coronavirus situation allows.

Photo: khunaspix, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Czech Republic’s open, export-driven economy, is heavily dependent on foreign demand, especially from the Eurozone. The fact that almost 84 percent of Czech exports go to fellow EU states, had led the government to actively push for diversification, seeking new markets in other parts of the world.

Those efforts were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and Foreign Minister Petříček says he wants to get them back on track as soon as possible. Mr. Petříček said that if the situation allowed he would resume trips with Czech business leaders in the autumn making originally planned trips to Africa, Latin America or the Middle East.

Tomáš Petříček, photo: Archive of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Industry and Transport, is currently preparing a trip to sub-Saharan Africa, where entrepreneurs should discuss business opportunities in Zambia, Angola and probably also South Africa. A trip to Latin America is also being considered, as a follow-up on Minister Petříček's visit to Mexico and Colombia last year, or a trip to Southeast Asia.

Negotiations are also underway to reschedule planned trips to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, which were due to take place at the beginning of this year and were postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis.

In January of this year, Minister Petříček undertook a trip with a business delegation to India, the last economic mission before the coronavirus crisis hit. Last year, in addition to Mexico and Colombia, he undertook trade missions to Ethiopia, Kenya and Georgia.