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Cooperation and support for investors
Thursday, March 24, 2022
The Karlovy Vary Region considers support for investors to be of key importance and therefore held a panel discussion together with the Association for Foreign Investment and the Karlovy Vary Regional Chamber of Commerce. During the discussion, all parties concurred that active support for investors and related areas such as jobs and facilities, infrastructure, education and the Green Deal are essential for the region’s development.
Deputy Governor for the Environment Karel Jakobec, together with Chairman of the Karlovy Vary Regional Chamber of Commerce Tomáš Linda and members of the Association for Foreign Investment (AFI), held talks with investors, mayors and other local-government representatives in the context of the panel discussion on the theme A Systematic Approach to Improving the Business Environment. They primarily focused on the issue of supporting companies investing in industry and services in the Karlovy Vary Region.
Kamil Blažek, chairman of the Association for Foreign Investment, familiarised those in attendance with the results of a nationwide survey of companies and investors that mapped particularly the issues of labour, future investment plans, investors’ current problems and the Green Deal: “The Karlovy Vary Region and especially the Sokolov district must now actively address the issue of the Green Deal. This means looking at this massive change as an opportunity rather than as a problem and to start building up business in sectors based on decarbonisation. The energy crisis will change the Green Deal, while also accelerating decarbonisation. The survey conducted by the AFI also indicates that 40% of investors see the Green Deal as an opportunity, and that number is further rising this year.”
Gabriela Hrbáčková, member of the AFI Steering Committee, presented data from the current survey conducted by the personnel agency Hofmann Personal and the AFI among investors focusing on the specific features of the labour market in the Karlovy Vary Region: “Seventy-five percent of companies stated that they are having problems with finding qualified workers for lower-level positions and 35% mentioned that they had similar problems with mid-level positions. In response to the current situation, however, 64% of companies in the Karlovy Vary Region stated that positions can be filled by refugees, thus resolving the long-term problem with the labour shortage, and 63% even plan to offer them jobs.”
This conclusion is supported Deputy Governor of the Karlovy Vary Region for the Environment Karel Jakobec, commenting on the current situation: “Since the start of the crisis in Ukraine, we have been helping Ukrainian citizens with housing and other processes connected with their arrival in the Czech Republic. We are aware of the seriousness of the situation, but on the other hand, their arrival may also mean an opportunity for the Karlovy Vary Region. A lot of people are leaving our region, whether for work or personal reasons, and the region’s population is continuing to decline. Therefore, we are pleased to create job opportunities and facilities for Ukrainian citizens who want to stay in our region.”
Infrastructure and development of industrial zones
Klára Sobotková, vice-chairwoman of the Supervisory Committee of the Association for Foreign Investment, warns of a future shortage of industrial premises in the Karlovy Vary Region, for which there is enormous demand: “Due to its location, the Karlovy Vary Region is very attractive for companies from Germany, as well as for expanding the capacities of companies that are already operating in the region. However, in our overview, we see that the future expansion of industrial zones in the Karlovy Vary and Cheb districts is not sufficient and the region may lose important investors for the development of trade and services.”
Tomáš Linda, chairman of the Karlovy Vary Regional Chamber of Commerce, also sees an opportunity to get the maximum benefit from the Karlovy Vary Region’s unique location: “I see a tremendous opportunity for the Karlovy Vary Region in the area of transport infrastructure, specifically the connection of our region to the German motorway network, the completion of the D6 motorway to Prague and the opening of the issue of building an expressway through the Ore Mountains region. The development of the railway network is also very important for our region’s transport infrastructure. However, I perceive a risk in the fact that our region is not included in the planned high-speed rail routes.”
Education is one of the areas whose development is crucial for the Karlovy Vary Region. Filip Dušek, vice-chairman of the Karlovy Vary Regional Chamber of Commerce and owner of the company Elroz Invest, summarises the positive aspects as well the future challenges for the Karlovy Vary Region in the area of education: “In the past decade, numerous significant investments have been made in education, with several secondary schools, especially those with a technical focus, having been modernised or newly built. The priority for the future is to have high-quality secondary schools and universities operating here, and mainly to have the graduates of those schools stay in the region.”
Lenka Mansfeldová, Director, Karlovy Vary Regional Chamber of Commerce, firstname.lastname@example.org, 737 045 998
Ivona Novotna, PR Manager, Association for Foreign Investment, email@example.com, 731 889 963