This edition of India Empire has been dedicated to the Czech Republic. It is the 100th anniversary of the nation’s independence from the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918. At the time of independence, of course, it was called Czechoslovakia—a name that was discontinued after its dissolution in 1992 and the formation of the new Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. The nation remains, according to H.E. Mr Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of Czech Republic with whom we have an interview, an important partner for India and the world’s superpowers.
Even though in 2017 Czech exports to India were to the tune of about Rs 52 billion, Ambassador Hovorka believes his country is just scratching the surface insofar as the eventual potential is concerned. India’s exports on the other hand to Czechia are about Rs 62 billion. Skoda cars are the most visible sign of Czech exports to India—the company has set up strong manufacturing units in Aurangabad and Pune, both in Maharashtra. The Bonatrans Group that makes railway axels and wheels besides delivering entire trains has also set up a manufacturing plant in Aurangabad. These two do provide important fingerprints of Czech competitiveness and skills in India.