October 2016 \ Interviews \
“We welcome Indians to explore our country in every way possible”

H.E. Mr Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India, spoke to India Empire’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty on a range of issues related to strengthening and furthering economic, commercial, educational and tourism ties between the two countries...

  • ARTICULATING POINTS: Ambassador Hovorka articulated well the salient features in the India-Czech Republic relations that will serve both countries better

H.E. Mr Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India

In the first week of September you had a meeting with Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Do you feel that the Czech Republic’s engagement with India on the bilateral front is being taken to another level now?

We have a long lasting friendship between our two great nations. Trade and investment relations have been traditionally been playing a pivotal role. We have strong fundamentals to bring on. Both countries are ready to work hard to unleash the existing potential. As ambassador, I am committing myself to contribute to this noble task. I have also practical experience of India when in the past, as deputy minister of industry and trade, I had visited India many times, bringing businesses together. The meeting with Hon’ble Minister Sitharaman was to take stock of recent things.

What is your view on Make in India? Are Czech firms ready to start manufacturing in India?

I have to say that they are not only ready, but they are already present here in India. We can perfectly understand the rationale behind this flagship initiative of PM Modi and his Government. The Czech Republic is among the most industrialized countries of the world. It has one of the highest industry-to-industry GDP ratios in the world. This is because we have been able to manage well the consequences of global economic crises. It means Czech Republic is one of fastest growing economies in Europe these days. This is a genuine opportunity to strengthen existing industrial ties and at the same time establish new business links between our Czech-based companies and those in India. We have a couple of companies doing extremely well in India. The potential is enormous. We encourage people to consider India as a very promising place to invest, do business here, come with technologies, create new jobs. And definitely explore also the possibility and proximity of India to increasing international markets. At the same time one has to put this Make in India initiative in the broader perspective as part of other efforts and steps that have been taken by the country over the last couple of years to ensure macro-economic stability, ease of doing business, opening up of economy, digitalization, to have small businesses set up their operations.