The Age of Opportunity and the Path to New Stability
September 6, 2022
2:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Congress Centre of the Czech National Bank
The Annual Conference of the AFI is one of the key events aimed at supporting the investment environment in the Czech Republic. This year, the event's third edition took place on September 6, 2022, at the Czech National Bank in Prague.
The conference part of the event comprised four moderated panel discussions in which experts talked about current trends and the latest issues in the economic and investment environment.
The main aspect of the evening gala was the awarding of the AFI Prizes.
Structural changes to recover the economy
Demand for labor and changes in the labor market
Reinvestment in the Czech Republic
Stability and security of supply chains
Defense and defense investment
Green Deal and carbon neutrality
Sustainable finance (taxonomy, ESG, etc.)
Updating the energy mix
Perception of risks and their solutions
|1:30 pm – 2:00 pm||Registration|
|2:00 pm – 2:10 pm||Opening|
|2:10 pm – 3:10 pm||1st panel - The Position of the Czech Republic in the Global Economy|
|3:10 pm – 4:10 pm||2nd panel - The Czechia as a Safe Country for Investments|
|4:10 pm – 4:20 pm||Presentation of the results of AFI survey|
|4:20 pm – 4:50 pm||Coffee break|
|4:50 pm – 5:50 pm||3rd panel - Winners and Losers of the Energy Transition: What Can We Expect?|
|5:50 pm – 6:50 pm||4th panel - Trends in 22&23: What Will the New Reality Look Like?|
|6:50 pm – 7:20 pm||Award ceremony|
|7:30 pm – 9:00 pm||Raut & Networking|
Chief Economist of the Trinity Bank
Chief Economist, Česká spořitelna
Chief Economist, Generali CEE Holding
CNB Deputy Governor
Lukáš Kovanda, Ph.D., is a Czech economist and author focusing on economic literature, and is Chief Economist at Trinity Bank. He also collaborates with the United Nations (UNDP) as a Senior Socio-Economic Analyst.
His daily work includes analyzing and commenting on macroeconomic issues, investments, and emerging phenomena such as sharing economy, cryptocurrencies and fintechs.
He is a Department of Economics lecturer at the University of Economics in Prague and is a member of the Scientific Board of the Czech Banking Association. He has published two collections of interviews with Nobel laureates and other prominent economists. He has written two behavioral economics books which were published in Czech and Slovak. Together with Evžen Korec, they published a book about how to successfully purchase apartments.
David Navrátil is the chief economist of Česká spořitelna. He studied economics at the University of Mining - Technical University of Ostrava. He started as an analyst at the Czech National Bank, and after three years he moved to the same position at Česká spořitelna. Since 2008, he has been working as chief economist and head of Economic and Strategic Analysis. It deals with macroeconomics, investments, financial markets and the prosperity of Czech society.
Miroslav Singer ranks amongst the most significant Czech economists. He graduated in Mathematical Methods Applied to Economy at the University of Economics in Prague. In 1995 he received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Before his appointment to the Bank Board of the Czech National Bank in 2001 he held senior management positions in the group Expandia (finance and industry) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (advising in restructuring). Between 2005 and 2010 he was Vice-Governor; between 2010 and 2016 he was Governor of the Czech National Bank. Since January 2017, he has been the Director of Institutional Relations and Chief Economist at Generali CEE Holding responsible for Austria, CEE & Russia Region, since January 2018 he is also a member of the Executive Committee. He serves in the supervisory boards of insurance companies of Generali, i.e. as a chairman in Generali Česká pojišťovna (CZ) and Poisťovňa Generali (SK). Also, he is a vice-chairman of the Supervisory Board of Moneta Money Bank. Among other prestigious appraisals, he was awarded “Central Banker of the Year in Europe” for 2014 by The Banker – FT group.
Eva Zamrazilova graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Economics in Prague. She worked as a researcher at the Forecasting Institute of the University of Economics in Prague, at the Economic Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs. In 1990 she completed her postgraduate studies at the Statistics Department of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Economics. From 1994–2008 she was involved in the preparation of macroeconomic analyses and forecasts in the Team of the Chief Economist at Komerční Banka. In 2008 she became a member of the CNB Bank Board. After her mandate expired in 2014, she worked as the Chief Economist of the Czech Banking Association. In 2017 the Chamber of Deputies appointed her as Chairperson of the Czech Fiscal Council at the government’s proposal. She has a long publication record in Czech and international journals, specialising in macroeconomic equilibrium, the convergence process in transition economies, economic policy, the labour market and budget responsibility. She became a member of the CNB Bank Board on 1 July 2022 and has also served as CNB Deputy Governor since this date.
Deputy Minister of Defense
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade
Managing Director in Panattoni Development Czech republic & Slovakia
President at General Electric CR & SK, CEO at GE Aviation
Tomáš Kopečný, Deputy Minister of Defence, currently heads the Industrial Cooperation Division. Mr Kopečný, as an expert on international industrial cooperation and defence market, is dedicated to strengthening the Czech defence industry, strategic partnerships in defence research and development, and continuous build-up of the Czech defence industrial and technological base within the European defence framework.
He holds an advanced MA degree (PhDr.) in Security Studies from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague. He also attended McGill University in Canada and did a professional internship at NATO within the team of the Special Advisor to NATO Secretary General and the Public Diplomacy Division. His prior working experience covers various positions within the Czech Ministry of Defence ranging from the Advisor to the First Deputy Minister on Africa to the Head of the Industrial Cooperation Division.
As an expert in the European economic integration, he has been working at the Ministry of Finance since 2001 on the EU Structural Funds, since 2004 he worked as an advisor to the Deputy Minister of Finance for the financial market, and in 2006 he was appointed by the Government as a National Coordinator for the introduction of the euro. Since August 2007, he worked in the private sphere as an EU project coordinator for Telefónica O2. In 2009, he returned to the state administration as Chief Executive Officer for EU Budget and EU Funds at the Ministry of Transport, and since August 2010 he served as Section Director for EU Funds, Research and Development at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, where he was in charge for key programs to support industrial research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2012-2013 he was also in charge of the stabilization and development of the CzechInvest business and investment development agency as its entrusted CEO. Since 2015, he headed the Department of Financial Instruments and Project Management at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and prepared mainly the National Innovation Fund project or the transformation of the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank. In March 2016, he was appointed by the Government as chairman of the Czech Republic's Technology Agency. Since May 2022 he has been entrusted with the management of the CI agency.
He began his career at Cushman & Wakefield, where he spent a total of ten years. Since 2008, he has been leading Panattoni as Managing Director for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Panattoni is part of the Panattoni Development Company, which is one of the world’s largest privately held development companies and has 51 branches in North America and Europe. Since starting operations in Central Europe in 2005, the company has completed a total of more than 14 million m² of modern industrial premises.
Pavel Sovička has 23 years of experience in industry in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. He has participated in transactions representing a total of more than 1,500,000 m² of leased and sold space. The most important projects under his leadership include e.g. Panattoni Park Prague Airport I and II, Amazon’s distribution centers in Dobrovíz (the largest rental building in the Czech Republic, 120,000 m²) and Kojetín, Panattoni Park D5 / Stříbro and Panattoni Park Cheb, whose most important tenant is Tchibo (the second largest rental building in the Czech Republic, 105,000 m²).
Milan Slapak has 20 years of extensive business experience in both tactical and strategic management. He currently works as a President at General Electric CR & SK and also holds the position of CEO and Executive Director at GE Aviation Turboprop leading a standalone P&L including intensive R&D and aircraft engine production and services. He also serves as a Vice-President for R&D at the American Chamber of Commerce and lectures on Operations Management at Chapman University. Slapak began his career with GE in 1999 with GE Transportation, later transitioning to GE Healthcare, then to General Electric’s corporate division as Country Manager for the Eastern European and Nordic regions. Since 2009 he has been with GE Aviation. He completed various international assignments including the US, Italy, China and France. He earned his master’s degree in Operations & Management and a PhD degree in E-Business from CVUT in Prague.
President of European Renewable Energies Federation
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade
Chief Economist, ČEZ
Commercial Director and Board Member in Veolia Energy
Je prezidentem Evropské federace obnovitelných zdrojů (EREF) (2022), poradcem ministra pro evropské záležitosti Mikuláše Beka (2022) a poradcem Komory obnovitelných zdrojů energie (2012). Předsedá Komisi pro udržitelnou energetiku a klima Rady hl.m. Prahy (2019) a vede expertní tým, který zpracoval Klimatický plán Prahy do roku 2030 s cílem dosáhnout klimatické neutrality 2050. Je expertem na klima a udržitelnou energetiku Rozvojového programu OSN (UNDP) (2016).
Bývalý místopředseda vlády (2007-9) a ministr životního prostředí (1998 a 2007-9), laureát ceny Josefa Vavrouška Nadace Charty77 a Nadace Partnerství (2014) za prosazování moderní environmentální politiky, obnovitelných zdrojů energie a energetických úspor.
Celoživotně se věnuje ochraně životního prostředí. Během českého předsednictví Evropské rady (2009) zastupoval EU při mezinárodním vyjednávání klimatické dohody se zástupci hlavních světových ekonomik USA, Číny, Indie, Kanady, Japonska, Ruska, Austrálie a dalších států.
Je autorem programu „Zelená úsporám“ (2009) podporujícího energetické úspory a instalaci obnovitelných zdrojů energie v domácnostech. Dlouhodobě prosazuje odklon od fosilních paliv a přechod k obnovitelným zdrojům energie, v energetice i dopravě.
Mr. René Neděla graduated at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Control and Instrumentation of the Czech Technical University. He also graduated at the Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies in the field of Business and Industrial Engineering in Industry. He also graduated from the Florence School of Regulation - Annual Training Course on the Regulation of Energy Utilities (Certificate of Attendance). Since 2011, he worked in the Energy Regulatory Office in several positions, starting from the Energy Regulatory Specialist, Head of Strategy and Advisory Department and Heat Department Director up to the Director of the Regulatory Section. At the same time, he lectured technical subjects at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the CTU and, later on, at the Technical University of Prague. He has been active in various governmental and non-governmental working groups on energy and water.
Pavel focuses on analyses and forecasts of energy markets in the Sales and Strategy Division and monitors the drivers determining the future development: EU climate and energy targets, prices of natural gas and coal, EU ETS rules and CO2 price, and consequences of the technological progress. Before joining CEZ in 2006, he worked in various sales and engineering roles at Dresser-Rand and Emerson. Before that, he worked for four years in superconductivity research at the Institute of Physics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Nuclear Science and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University.
He has been working in the position of commercial director of the Veolia group in the Czech Republic since 2020. In 2020, he managed the acquisition project of the Pražská teplárenská group. In previous years, he worked as a business development manager for the energy division of the Veolia group in the Czech Republic and also in Slovakia, where he managed the acquisitions of the energy groups PPC Bratislava and Slovintegra Energy Levice in the capacity of director of energy for Slovak Veolia. Before 2015, he worked as a project manager at Dalkia (a member of the Veolia group). He has been working in the energy industry since 2001. Since 08/2022, he has been the representative of the DG Energy Division of the Veolia Group in the Czech Republic. Married, 2 children.
Manager, Founder of the investment group Thein
Director at prg.ai
Investment Partner in Rockaway Capital
Chairwoman at the CNC News
Tomáš Budník is an experienced manager and founder of the investment group Thein. He tried his first business right after his studies when he founded a company providing internet connection with several partners, which he sold after several years of successful operation. He then held senior management positions in leading telecommunications companies and large corporations such as GTS, O2 and PPF. As part of PPF, he was primarily involved in the coordination of the group's technological activities in six global markets. He fulfilled his desire to build something of his own and return to business in 2020 when he founded the Thein Group, which focuses primarily on IT, cyber security and industry. Through Thein, he supports the development of traditional Czech companies and digitization by promoting innovation, tradition and the development of family values.
After graduating from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in 2006, he started working as a consultant at Ernst & Young. In the years 2015 - 2017, he was the director of the development and program management section of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. He then worked as an independent consultant in the field of public administration, focusing on the creation and evaluation of public policies, with a special focus on the research, development and innovation policy. Since April 2022, he has been working as the director of the non-profit initiative prg.ai, whose goal is to transform Prague into a significant European AI hub.
Andrea Lauren has been an investment partner at Rockaway Capital for five years. She has worked on investments such as Budgetbakers, Chytrý Honza, Threatmark, Mallpay, Pex, Techloop or StartupYard. Since October 2021, Andrea has been one of the General Partners at Rockaway Ventures Fund.
In the past, Andrea co-founded Roklen investment bank, where as CEO she led the first Czech investment crowdfunding platform, Fundlift.
She worked as an investment banker for more than 18 years, was an M&A banker at HSBC and JP Morgan in London for 13 years, and also has experience at Citigroup, Credit Lyonnais or ABN AMRO Bank. Andrea has managed M&A transactions for clients in the private sector and for governments totaling over EUR 25 billion.
Libuše Šmuclerová leads one of the largest publishing houses in the Czech Republic, Czech News Center (formerly Ringier, Ringier Axel Springer), whose portfolio includes 4 daily newspapers, more than four dozen magazines and four dozen websites with access to several million users. For almost 14 years, she led the publishing house from the CEO, today from the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Supervisory Board of WAN-IFRA (World Association of News Publishers), in 1996-2004 she was the program director of TV Nova, including four years as Deputy General Director. She is regularly ranked among the most influential women in the Czech Republic by Forbes magazine, and thanks to her regular placement in the TOP 25 Czech business women of Hospodářské noviny, she was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2016.
The conference will also include the presentation of the AFI Prize for Long-Term Benefit to the Investment Environment of the Czech Republic, the AFI Prize for Significant Contribution in the Field of Investment and the award for the Innovative idea of the year.
The purpose of the Prizes is to recognise and publicly acknowledge important persons who have contributed to the development of the Czech investment environment and economy, and also activities and projects implemented in the Czech Republic (e.g. investments in advanced technologies) and activities, and projects originating in the Czech Republic and implemented abroad that are beneficial for the Czech Republic. The Innovation Idea of the Year award is aimed at activities or projects that are significant for a high level of innovation in any form (innovative approach/procedure/know-how/technology, etc.) carried out in the Czech Republic and activities or projects originating in the Czech Republic, carried out abroad, which benefit the Czech Republic.
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