Prague, Dec 7 (CTK) – Czech companies are cautious regarding their cooperation with developing countries, but their interest in foreign trade partners has been growing, the Czech Development Agency (CRA) has told CTK.
One of the instruments to boost cooperation between Czech companies and their counterparts from developing countries is the B2B programme, on which the CRA plans to spend 20 million crowns next year.
“Through the programme, the CRA finances studies of [projects’] feasibility, long-term business partnerships and business plans,” B2B programme manager Barbora Lateckova told CTK.
“The inclusion of business plans is a novelty. They will help companies survey the market, assess the risks and find a partner,” Lateckova said.
The programme is mainly suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that want to enter new markets and that offer effective solutions to the partner country’s development needs, she said.
The deadline for companies from various economic branches to apply for participation in the programme is January 16, 2017.
Dozens of companies have joined the B2B programme in the past three years since it was launched by the CRA as a step to boost the private sector’s participation in development aid.
“Czech companies show prevailing excessive caution regarding developing countries. Compared with media pictures, the situation in most developing countries has been stable and business-friendly,” Lateckova said.
Czech companies often come up with energy and agricultural projects in developing states. Engineering, procession and IT companies have been successful as well, as have been experts in solar and water energy technologies.
For example, the Mamacoffee coffee roasting plant and cafe operator has used the CRA-organised programme to cooperate with partners in Nicaragua and Ethiopia.
“We import coffee from the two countries, and we can see more interesting chances of cooperation in both of them,” Mamacoffee co-owner Daniel Kolsky told CTK.
Cooperation with the CRA helped Mamacoffee create a feasible business plans.
“At the same time, the CRA’s support enables us to prepare similar projects in Indonesia and other countries,” Kolsky said.
In 2015, the CRA’s budget was 500 million crowns, which is about 10 percent of the total sum the Czech Republic earmarked for development aid.
The CRA’s task is to prepare projects and tenders aimed to promote sustainable development in selected countries.