Ministers of Industry Evaluated 20 Years of Czech-German Relations: Education Is a Priority for Future Development

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, a discussion titled “20 Years of Czech-German Economic Relations: Perspectives of Future Cooperation” was held at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kuba and German Vice-chancellor and Federal Minister of Industry and Technology Dr. Philipp Rösler were the guests of the discussion.

The meeting focused on recent economic developments in the Czech Republic and Germany as well as the bilateral relations of the two countries. The states’ common issues of importance, such as competitiveness, foreign trade, development of new technologies, innovation, bilateral cooperation in the EU and access to third countries’ markets, were among the topics of the discussion.

Technical education is one of the key factors that attract German and other investors to the Czech Republic. “I am convinced that the Czech Republic is getting to the situation when it has to make essential changes in technical education,“ Minister Kuba said. He added that the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade introduced an amendment to the tax law to allow companies tax deductions if they take part in education.

Moderator of the discussion, Detlef Wittig opened another big topic regarding bilateral relations, energy politics and the issue of energy overflows. Minister Rösler emphasized that every state sovereignly decides on its energy mix, but it cannot cause damage to the neighboring states. “We are immensely grateful for the burden that the Czech Republic has taken on itself to allow us in realization of our energy turnaround,“ Minister Rösler said. He also emphasized that Germany wants to continue building and strengthening its energy networks/grids, above all for the connection between the North and the South of the country.

The discussion thematically followed-up on the Annual Conference of the Czech-German Discussion Forum that was held in Ostrava in November 2012 and focused on the energy politics of the two countries.

The event was organized by the Czech-German Discussion Forum and the Forum 2000 Foundation in a framework of long-term cooperation on projects that support Czech-German relations. As a Czech partner of the Czech-German Discussion Forum, the Forum 2000 Foundation helps create and organize projects that develop a dialogue between Czechs and Germans while supporting involvement of broader social groups in the discussion.