Calling for “action over arguments,” Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil said it was time to take bilateral business cooperation between the Czech Republic and Taiwan to the next level, despite threats of retaliation from China.
Vystrcil was speaking at the 2020 Taiwan-Czech Republic Economic, Trade and Investment Forum hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in which three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed between Taiwanese and Czech entities.
“Our goal for this trip is to establish a good business environment for Taiwanese and Czech businesses to cooperate,” Vystrcil said, adding that economic cooperation is tied to freedom and democracy.
Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times
“Without the freedom for our businesses to work together, the Czech Republic and Taiwan cannot be free. This is because freedom and democracy are the basis of prosperity,” he said.
The Czech Republic is Taiwan’s fourth-largest investment destination in Europe, the ministry said. The forum focused on artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, the green economy, innovative start-ups, automobiles, information and communications technology, and aerospace industries, it said.
“Although Taiwan and the Czech Republic are geographically far apart, we’ve always had a close relationship,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “Taiwanese high-tech businesses have been making Czech investments for 25 years, because they recognize the superiority of Czech technical talent.”
“We already signed an agreement on May 12 to prevent any issues with double taxation and to create a fair business environment that encourages investment, and now for the second half of 2020 we are doing even more with the leadership of Vystrcil,” she said.
The Czech delegation and a Taiwanese delegation, led by Wang, witnessed the signing of three MOUs between: Taiwan’s Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency and the Czech agency of Science and Technology Advanced Region; Taiwan’s Business Next Media Corp (數位時代媒體集團) and the Czech-Taiwanese Business Chamber; and Taiwan’s Precision Machinery Research Development Center (精密機械研究發展中心) and the Czech-Taiwanese Business Chamber.
After the forum more than 40 business leaders from the Czech delegation met with potential Taiwanese partners for business-matching activities.
“We have a saying in Czech: You can keep saying you want to be warm, but the only way to be warm is to light a fire. This means rather than just talk, we must act,” Vystrcil said.
Jakub Krcmar, cofounder and CEO of Veracity Protocol and one of the speakers at the forum, said there is “great synergy” between Taiwan and the Czech Republic, because both countries are technological powerhouses with complementary strengths.
“While Taiwan has some of the world’s top tech companies, the Czech Republic is where you can find some of the world’s top tech talent,” Krcmar said by telephone. “This is especially true in the field of AI and nanotechnology. Working more closely with the Czech Republic is a great way for Taiwanese companies to keep their edge in those fields.”
Veracity Protocol is in the process of setting up a Taiwanese company that would help Taiwanese clients “establish trust in the supply chain through Computer Vision AI,” Krcmar said.
In addition to the business advantages, Krcmar said he finds that Taiwanese and Czech people tend to get along. “I think we work together because we have similar histories and similar values,” he said, “We understand each other well.”
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