Inefficient economy diplomacy, low support for technical schools at all levels and not enough support for research and science are the main three problems of the Czech industry, said president Miloš Zeman. Therefore, it is supposedly necessary to strengthen the role of Czech commercial representatives at embassies, and also to remove bureaucracy obstacles, which are slowing down signing new contacts abroad.
Both Zeman and representatives of the Czech Economy Chamber agreed on the main problems. „Economy diplomacy is often more about words and less about action. We must improve the economy education of our ambassadors,“ Zeman said in Brno during his speech at the 56th International Engineering Fair.
In Zeman’s opinion another problem is low support for science and research. „It is partly caused by the fact that there is significant disproportion between basic and applied research to the detriment of the applied sciences,“ Zeman pointed out.
The Ministry of Education proclaimed that there will be an educational reform next year, which will revive technical education. By next year the ministry plans to change school funding to the point, where all subjects in schools will be given the same funding in every region. In the current model each branch gets a different amount of money in every region. The new model will not pay more to schools with more students, but will take into consideration the importance of different disciplines on the basis of demand on the labor market.
According to Zeman, besides improving the ambassadors’ knowledge on economy, removing red tape would also improve the situation. “There is a whole list of issues, but as an example we can mention visas. Many times some kind of laziness of our civil servants leads to situations, where facilitating a visa is very problematic, difficult and slow and because of that people, who have an easier access to other countries’ visas make contacts far more easily,” Zeman added. Zeman believes it would be beneficial to merge some of the parallel organizations. It concerns for example CzechTourism and Czech centers.
Another point where both Zeman and representatives of the Czech Economy Chamber agreed on was inefficiency of Europe Union’s sanctions towards Russia. “They contradict the whole principle of economic diplomacy,” Zeman said.
Picture: David Sedlecký